INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Eric Holcomb and the leaders of the Indiana House and Senate on Thursday demanded Attorney General Curtis Hill resign his office following allegations of sexual improprieties with Statehouse employees at an Indianapolis bar.
House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, and Senate President David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said they no longer believe Hill, a fellow Republican, can continue to perform his duties as the state's chief law enforcement officer, nor should he.
"Sexual harassment is unacceptable at any time, in any place. It makes no difference that these incidents did not occur in a workplace environment," Bosma and Long said in a joint statement issued shortly after 6 p.m. Region time.
"Curtis Hill is not our employee; if he was, he would already have been fired. Because we cannot terminate his employment, we ask instead for him to own up to his actions, apologize publicly to the victims and tender his resignation immediately."
The Republican chief executive said in a statement sent two minutes after the legislative leaders' that he concurred with Bosma and Long that Hill should resign.
"Four women had the courage to step forward to report sexual harassment by the Indiana attorney general," Holcomb said.
"The findings of the recent legislative report are disturbing and, at a minimum, show a violation of the state’s zero tolerance sexual harassment policy."
Holcomb, Bosma and Long also requested the Indiana inspector general conduct an independent investigation of Hill's alleged behavior in the early morning hours of March 15 following the adjournment of the General Assembly's annual session.
Hill is accused by a state lawmaker of twice drunkenly putting his hands on her back, sliding them to her buttocks, putting them under her clothes and grabbing "a handful," according to a report of the incident compiled by an outside law firm for the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency.
He also reportedly touched or rubbed the backs of three additional legislative employees, of both political parties, without their consent at the same bar.
Hill has denied any wrongdoing. He said Monday: "At no time was my behavior inappropriate, nor did I touch anyone in an inappropriate manner."
On Tuesday, Hill said he would not resign because Hoosiers overwhelmingly elected him attorney general, and he "will continue to honor my commitment to the citizens of this great state."
A spokesman for the attorney general's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the latest calls for Hill's resignation.
Earlier this week, Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, and state Sen. Mike Bohacek, R-Michiana Shores, were first to urge Hill to step down.
"Hoosiers trust their elected officials to conduct themselves in a way that is professional and respectful of those they work with and around, and I am very disappointed to hear that the attorney general has not met that standard," Bohacek said.
Holcomb does not have the power to remove Hill since the attorney general is a separately elected executive branch officer.
Neither the governor, Bosma or Long has yet said what they'll do next if Hill refuses to resign.