INDIANAPOLIS – A women’s lawyer who claims the former Indiana attorney general groped them while intoxicated argued Thursday that a federal appeals court should allow their lawsuit against the state for its actions on the grounds that they were employees of the State.
A trial judge barred the three women from suing the state for sexual harassment, ruling last year that they worked for the legislature and then Attorney General Curtis Hill had no authority over them despite his elected post as the state government’s chief advocate.
Hannah Kaufman Joseph, a women’s lawyer, told the Chicago 7th Court of Appeals panel that the ruling would create a “loophole” for the state to escape accountability.
The three women held staff positions in the Indiana House or Senate when they attended a party in 2018 at a bar in Indianapolis, where they said Hill touched his back or buttocks inappropriately and made unwelcome sexual comments.
âThere is a big difference between whether the state is the employer, or the House and Senate are the employer,â Joseph said. “The House and Senate will argue that they have no ability to control Curtis Hill … therefore no accountability.”
The Indiana Supreme Court ordered a 30-day suspension of Hill’s law license last year after finding “with clear and convincing evidence that (Hill) committed the criminal act of assault and battery” against women and then state representative Mara Candelaria Reardon, a Munster Democrat.