The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission filed a disciplinary complaint Tuesday against Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill.
The complaint describes the experiences of Hill's four named accusers at the “sine die” party held March 14, 2018 at AJ's Lounge, at the end of the 2018 legislative session.
On Oct. 23, 2018, at the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, Special Prosecutor Dan Sigler addressed the assembled press gathered in the first floor conference room to announce no charges would be filed against Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill.
Sigler simultaneously released a seven-page report to the Marion Superior Court Criminal Division regarding the allegations of sexual misconduct.
Then, four of Hill’s accusers, along with their attorneys from Katz Korin Cunningham, announced they were taking initial steps to proceed with a civil lawsuit.
Three of the women — State Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon, D-Munster; Niki DaSilva, Legislative Assistant for the Indiana Senate Republicans; and Gabrielle McLemore, Communications Director for the Indiana Senate Democrats — had previously made their identities known to the public
A fourth accuser — Samantha Lozano, Legislative Assistant for the Indiana House Democrats — had been unnamed up to that point.
Simultaneously, the Indiana Office of the Inspector General released their own separate 25-page report announcing no charges would be filed.
The complaint stated the commission has found “reasonable cause to believe that Curtis T. Hill, Jr.'s acts, if proved, would warrant disciplinary action.”
Hill is currently an attorney in good standing, first admitted to practice law in Indiana on June 10, 1988. He has served as Indiana Attorney General since Jan. 9, 2017. Before that, he served as Elkhart County's prosecutor. The Indiana Supreme Court, who will ultimately rule on the complaint, could strip Hill of his law license, which would also mean he could not hold his current position of Attorney General.
Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon
Candelaria Reardon, who was wearing a backless dress at the party, claims Hill “placed his hand on her bare back, … rubbed his hand down her bare back and grabbed or touched Candelaria Reardon's buttocks.”
“Candelaria Reardon did not consent to the respondent touching her, rubbing his hand down her back or grabbing her buttocks,” stated the complaint. “Candelaria Reardon told the respondent to 'back off' or otherwise expressed her displeasure.”
The complaint stated this alleged touching amounted to a criminal act of battery, a class B misdemeanor.
The complain also listed a second incident involving Candelaria Reardon in which Hill approached her later in that night and “touched her bare back while stating to her, 'that skin' and 'that back' or some similar phrase.”
The complaint stated this second touching incident also qualified as battery.
Hill's second named victim, McLemore, a legislative assistant, was also listed in the complaint as having been approached the same night.
“While McLemore was sitting on a stool near the bar at AJ's Lounge and talking with colleagues, the respondent came up beside McLemore and asked, 'Do you know who I am?' or some similar phrase,” stated the complaint. “The respondent rubbed McLemore's back and continued to do so for a significant period of time.”
McLemore did not consent to the touching or rubbing, the complaint stated.
“McLemore was uncomfortable and embarrassed by the respondent's actions. After mouthing the words 'help me' to a friend , McLemore was able to move away from the respondent,” stated complaint. “McLemore was upset by the respondent's unconsented touching and she told another legislative staff person that night what had happened.”
The complaint also listed this incident as qualifying as battery.
Lozano, a legislative assistant for Candelaria Reardon, was listed as the third named Hill accuser in the complaint.
Lozano's reported interaction with Hill began similarly to McLemore's as he reportedly asked her if she knew who he was. She replied that she did.
“When Lozano made a comment about it being hot, the respondent stated, 'Yes, you are really hot,' or some other similar phrase,” stated the complaint. “While Lozano was at or near the bar of AJ's Lounge, the respondent wrapped his arm around Lozano's waist and pulled her close to him.”
Lozano, who said she did not consent to this touching, moved away when someone else moved between them.
The complaint also listed this incident as qualifying as battery.
DaSilva, legislative assistant for Sen. Ryan Mishler, R-Bremen, was listed as the fourth named accuser of Hill in the complaint.
“At some point during the sine die event, the respondent put his hand on DaSilva's back and moved it down her back,” stated the complaint.
DaSilva did not consent to the touching and brushed Hill's hand away.
“The respondent then grabbed DaSilva's wrist and forcibly moved DaSilva's hand toward her buttocks, by which conduct the respondent touched DaSilva's buttocks with his hand and pressed or held it against her,” stated the complaint. “The respondent eventually let go of DaSilva's wrist and she moved away.”
The complaint stated that by using force to compel DaSilva to submit to the unconsented touching of her back and buttocks, the respondent “committed the criminal act of sexual battery, a level 6 felony.”
The additional touching of her back and buttocks also qualified as battery, according to the complaint.
The complaint also outlined the various ways in which Hill allegedly violated the Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys at Law and the Indiana Rules of Admission and Discipline.
The complaint stated that these charges reflect “adversely on [Hill's] honestly, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer.”
The complaint makes it clear Hill's role as Indiana Attorney General place him in a special position as the chief legal officer of the state.
“The respondent's ethical violations and offensive conduct reflect poorly on the legal profession and does incalculable harm to the public perception of the Attorney General's office and all the state agencies it represents,” stated the complaint.
Hill has maintained his innocence, and “lacks remorse for his conduct.”
“When first confronted by legislative leaders about the conduct at the sine die event, the respondent admitted repeatedly that he had had too much to drink or words to that effect,” stated the complaint. “Thereafter, the respondent changed his story and claimed he was not inebriated. The respondent has held public news events in his role as Attorney General in which he denounced the allegations as untrue and implied the victims falsified their accounts. Later, the respondent portrayed the victims as mistaken or misperceiving his conduct.”
The report concludes by stating Hill “acted with the selfish motive to arouse his sexual desires.”
After being contacted for comment Tuesday, Hill's four alleged victims provided a statement to NUVO through their attorneys.
“The filing today was not in response to any action we took, as we did not file a grievance with the Indiana Disciplinary Commission,” they stated. “However, we are pleased to see that the sexual harassment and battery we faced from Curtis Hill is being taken seriously and that his ethics as the state’s highest legal officer are being reviewed.”
Indiana House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta also responded to the complaint, reiterated calls from other elected leaders in the state for Hill to resign.
“I am pleased to see that the Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission has taken the allegations against Attorney General Hill seriously,” he stated. “I certainly believe the women in this case and echo statements made by my fellow legislative leaders calling for Attorney General Hill to resign. The chief law enforcement officer of our state should be held to the highest standard of decorum and it’s clear the attorney general cannot meet that standard.”
Don Lundberg, Hill's attorney at Lundberg Legal, released a statement late Thursday addressing the complaint.
"This matter has been investigated three times," stated Lundberg. "There was an investigation undertaken by the General Assembly, another by the inspector general and, finally, one by the special prosecutor. And after having reviewed all the information, all three reached the same conclusion: no further action was warranted. The Attorney General remains focused on serving the people of Indiana. This matter will be addressed through the proper process outlined for disciplinary complaints in the State of Indiana and we are confident it will conclude in a manner consistent with the results of the prior investigations."