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Hearing officer recommends AG Hill's law license be suspended

Hill's behavior at party called "offensive"
Curtis Hill.JPG
Posted at 4:37 PM, Feb 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-14 19:07:19-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Attorney General Curtis Hill could lose his law license for 60 days and without automatic reinstatement based on the recommendation of the hearing officer who oversaw an investigation of Hill's behavior with four women at a 2018 party.

It's the latest development in a series of complicated legal proceedings surrounding the Hill matter, and the ultimate decision on Hill's future as attorney general will likely rest with the state supreme court.

Myra Selby, the officer appointed by the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, released her report Friday. Selby is a former supreme court justice.

Selby's report calls Hill's conduct with four women at the party "offensive, invasive, damaging and embarrassing." The report goes on: "As Attorney General, he used his state office staff and others to engage in a public campaign to defend himself and intimidate the complainants."

There is "clear and convincing evidence" that Hill violated the state's Rules of Professional Conduct.

But there are differences between Selby's conclusions and those of the disciplinary commission itself, which recommended in December that Hill lose his law license for two years, not two months.

In explaining the two month recommendation, Selby writes, "The Hearing Officer finds that the Disciplinary Commission failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that Respondent (Hill) committed sexual battery."

After charging Hill with sexual battery, the commission held four days of hearings in October at which Hill and the four women who brought complaints against him testified.

Hill is accused of grouping the four women at an Indianapolis bar during a late night party following the conclusion of the 2018 legislative session. One of the women is a state representative, the others were or have been statehouse staffers.

Friday's recommendations can be appealed, meaning Hill's fate is likely to rest with the Indiana Supreme Court. Hill is seeking a second term in this year's elections.