IN Focus: Holcomb asked about impact of potentially sharing ballot with Hill, Trump in 2020

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INDIANAPOLIS - Two competing proposals have been filed regarding the future of Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill and whether he should be disciplined for the way he acted in an Indianapolis bar in 2018.

The Indiana Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Commission wants Hill’s license to practice law suspended for two years.

Hill’s attorneys say he committed no crime and remains in good standing.  It will be up to Hearing Officer Myra Selby to weigh the competing views as she writes her final report.

The documents were filed Monday night. The Disciplinary Commission wrote that it determined that when Hill allegedly groped or made lewd comments to four women inside of AJ’s Pub hours after the 2018 legislative session was gaveled to a close at the statehouse, he committed battery and sexual battery and therefore should lose his license for two years.

A special prosecutor came to the same conclusion regarding Hill’s actions that night but chose not to file criminal charges.

Hill’s attorneys argue that while their client’s behavior may be boorish, it didn’t violate the rules that regulate lawyers in the state of Indiana. The lawyers representing Hill have proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law for the hearing officer to sign off on.

Former Justice Selby is free to consider each side’s arguments while drawing up her own conclusion that will then be forwarded to the Indiana Supreme Court for a final decision.

Hill has already indicated his intention to seek re-election. Governor Eric Holcomb and other Republican leaders have called on Hill to step down.

GOP delegates will nominate their candidate for attorney general at next year's state convention, meaning Hill could still wind up on the ballot, if he can avoid a suspension, and if rank-and-file delegates should choose him despite the wishes of party leadership.

Holcomb is widely viewed as the favorite as he seeks a second term as governor in 2020 - so far three Democrats have entered the race for governor seeking to challenge him for post next year.

Last week, we asked Holcomb about the possibility he may be on the ballot alongside the beleaguered attorney general next year.

"I've already said what I feel. I'm unchanged, and will remain unchanged," said Holcomb. "Having said that, there's multiple legal issues ongoing right now and some may be revealed or resolved before we ever get to the point and so I'll reserve my judgement while the pending litigation is occurring."

We also asked Holcomb about the dynamics of sharing the stage with a President who is now the first in American history to seek re-election after being impeached by the House.

Nonetheless, the governor said he would welcome the endorsement and said this about the state's relationship with the Trump administration:

"I'm focused on the state of Indiana, and I want to work with everyone that wants to help us," said Holcomb. "I don't fear help from my friends. It's a blessing to have so much support... We've been able to work with this administration like never before. We've got a lot of Hoosiers out there, in various departments. We've got a receptive partner in Washington, DC right now."

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