Dozens of sitting Indiana House Republicans and candidates signed off on a letter expressing support for Speaker Brian Bosma, who has been accused of hiring a lawyer to intimidate a woman who says she had a sexual encounter with him more than 20 years ago.
The Indianapolis Star reported on Wednesday that Bosma, an Indianapolis Republican, paid attorney Linda Pence $40,000 to investigate a former intern for the House Democratic caucus.
The woman, Kandy Green, told the newspaper that investigators for Pence had been questioning her friends and family to find out negative information about her, actions which she has interpreted as intimidation.
Bosma has denied all allegations.
The letter from Bosma’s campaign and sent by the public relations firm of Sease, Gerig & Associates has a list of 64 House members and candidates who say they support Bosma in the aftermath of the allegations.
“We stand with Speaker Brian Bosma against this attempt by The Indianapolis Star to discredit him, a conservative leader, with uncorroborated allegations,” the letter said.
“Having worked alongside the speaker, some of us for decades, we know him to be a man of integrity, and we believe him. Speaker Bosma has been a great leader making Indiana the best place in the country to live, work and raise a family. We stand by him 100 percent as he continues to lead our state forward.”
Earlier, Bosma’s fellow Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb declined to call for an investigation into Bosma’s actions. He was attending a workforce development announcement where reporters bombarded him with questions about the allegations against Bosma.
“I don’t think it would be fair for me to comment on a story that what I read has lingered for decades and this story is all I have the benefit of reviewing,” Holcomb said.
Holcomb, along with Bosma and other political leaders of both parties, had called on Attorney General Curtis Hill to resign after he was accused of groping several women at a bar following the end of the legislative session in March. Hill has denied wrongdoing and has refused to step down.
Holcomb said the Bosma accusations are different from the Hill situation. He said the allegations against Hill had been investigated by a law firm while he only had to the newspaper account of the charges against Bosma to go on.
“I don’t think it would be fair of me to comment on that story at this time having not the benefit of an actual report just the story,” Holcomb said, adding that it wasn’t his role to call for an investigation.
Indiana Democrats, who called on Holcomb to seek an investigation into Bosma’s actions, questioned whether political considerations are clouding the governor’s judgment.
“He could have easily recommended the House Ethics Committee launch an investigation,” said John Zody, chair of the Indiana Democratic Party. “Some situations demand leaders rise above the political fray to do the right thing. Faced with such a choice, it appears Gov. Holcomb stepped back. To Gov. Holcomb, just one question: what should be done?”
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