Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, under fire from his own party after allegations of sexual misconduct, has found a more welcoming reception from the Republican Attorneys General Association.
The national group has picked Hill to be its vice chairman, joining Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who was named chairman despite currently being under indictment for securities fraud.
Hill, who like Paxton has denied wrongdoing, said he was honored to be elected by his fellow Republican attorneys general to help recruit candidates and to ensure “states are not overrun by the federal government.”
“The chief law enforcement officer has a primary responsibility to protect the people. I’m proud to stand with Ken and the rest of my colleagues in working to elect more Republican AGs who will protect our communities and stand for the rule of law,” said Hill, who was elected to his first term as attorney general in 2016.
Hill is the nation’s only Republican African-American attorney general and has previously served on the RAGA Executive Committee.
In June, allegations surfaced that Hill had groped a legislator and some legislative staff at a March party celebrating the end of this year’s regular legislative session. Gov. Eric Holcomb and both Republican legislative leaders, House Speaker Brian Bosma and then-Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, called on Hill to resign.
A special prosecutor, Daniel Sigler, was appointed to investigate the matter and declined to file charges.
“I decided that there was no crime that could be proven,” Sigler told reporters in October, doubting that a jury would return a guilty verdict.
“While there is no doubt the women involved viewed the touching as uninvited and rude, that is not the sole standard for a successful criminal prosecution,” Sigler said at the time.
The state’s inspector general Lori Torres, who also looked into the allegations, said in her October report that “multiple eyewitnesses provided statements that Hill’s conduct was inappropriate, ‘creepy,’ unwelcome, and made many of the women at the party uncomfortable.”
The only way to remove Hill from office is by impeachment in the legislature. No Republican lawmakers have advocated that, and Holcomb has no role in that process.
RAGA did not respond to requests for comment on Hill’s election to their leadership.
According to the Republican Attorneys General Association website, RAGA is the only national organization whose mission is to elect Republicans into states’ chief law enforcement office. RAGA works with current Republican attorneys general and recruits candidates, giving them help with research, message development and financial support.
It was founded in 1999 when 12 Republican attorneys general wanted to address the lack of commitment by other attorneys general to defend the idea of a centralized government, adhere to the law and apply a common sense, free market approach to governing.
Dionte Coleman is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.