With great power should come great accountability

Update: On May 11, 2020, the Indiana Supreme Court released its decision that Attorney General Curtis Hill’s license will be suspended for 30 days, effective May 18, 2020. Read the decision here. We are disappointed to see that the recommendations of the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission (detailed below) were not followed, and we believe Hill has not been properly held accountable for his abuse of his power to cause harm to others.

Respondent’s conduct for any person is abhorrent.  For a lawyer and public official, it establishes a lack of self-restraint that raises questions about fitness in other respects.  Respondent’s actions were not the result of a one night of overindulgence, but fit into a pattern of sexually inappropriate behavior.

The seriousness of this matter cannot be overstated.  it is important to restore faith in our legal system.  The crimes of the AG have dealt a significant blow to that faith, and restoration of that faith requires a significant response.

-From the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission’s Report

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill’s law license should be suspended for at least two years, according to a proposal filed late Monday by the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission. In its filing Monday, the disciplinary commission called Hill’s actions “deliberate, loathsome and demeaning.”

The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence has a long history of standing beside survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Believing survivors is one of the most fundamental ways we offer the support they need, and help others feel supported in stepping forward.

His attorneys have defended his behavior by writing that his “conduct may have been boorish and offensive to some or many, but it was conduct that occurred in a private setting that had no connection with the practice of law or his role as an attorney.

However, we at ICADV see a very clear connection. We know that differences in power between people fuel multiple forms of violence. Attorney General Curtis Hill holds a powerful position in the state of Indiana, and he has clearly used that power as permission to cause harm to others.

As the report states, “[Hill’s] conduct caused actual or potential injury to his victims and their future careers by forcing them to choose between reporting his conduct or remaining silent. Three of [Hill’s] four victims were women in their early 20’s, had just begun their careers in government, and were subject to sexual misconduct by a powerful state official.”

While he is actively campaigning for re-election, we ask voters to remember his actions. Someone who has so blatantly used his power as an opportunity to violate, intimidate, silence and discredit others is not someone we need representing our state.

Read the Disciplinary Commission’s full report here.

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