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State investigation clears A.G. Curtis Hill over use of his name in ads and PSA's

"Misunderstanding" of state regulations cited
Curtis Hill.JPG
Posted at 10:16 PM, Nov 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-21 22:16:57-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana State Code says "a state officer may not use the state officer's name or likeness in a communication paid for entirely or in part with appropriations made by the general assembly, regardless of the source of money."

An investigation by the Indiana Inspector General found the staff of Attorney General Curtis Hill did just that on numerous occasions in 2017 and 18.

But there will be no repercussions for Hill or his staff. The Inspector General's report, released Thursday, says the investigation "cannot prove a rule violation."

At issue are public service announcements and advertisements for the Attorney General's Unclaimed Property Division that appeared in newspapers around the state and on television and radio. Some of the ads and PSA's mentioned Curtis Hill by name, when they're not supposed to.

The report says Hill's office realized its mistake and "self-reported" it last year.

What followed was a long investigation by the Inspector General. Its conclusion was that Hill "lacked any knowledge or involvement with the communications that contained his name." The report found a "misunderstanding" of the statute by an employee in Hill's office and a "lack of oversight by the Attorney General."

Additionally, the report says Hill "instituted new training policies for employees and has implemented a multi-tier approval protocol for marketing and advertising materials."