INDIANAPOLIS — The former Indiana attorney who filed a complaint of professional misconduct against state Attorney General Curtis Hill said he did so because of alleged corruption in Hill's office.
The complaint led to accusations this week by the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission that Hill committed battery when he allegedly groped four women, including a state legislator, at a bar in March 2018. If the accusations are proved, the complaint could lead to disciplinary action against Hill's law license.
The commission's complaint is based on a filing in Virginia by former Hoosier attorney Andrew U.D. Straw, who is now suspended from practicing law in Indiana. Straw is a former Goshen resident.
"I thought the earlier news coverage of what he (Hill) allegedly did to those four women was worthy of a disciplinary complaint and I'm right about that," Straw said in an email.
Straw, who was a disability rights lawyer, has battled numerous times in court with the Attorney General's Office.
"There is so much corruption defended and propagated by the office of the Indiana Attorney General, and I have done work against sexual harassment at the South Bend Housing Authority. The Indiana Supreme Court retaliated against that South Bend work even though I invented the protective order database now used by the Indiana Supreme Court," Straw wrote.
Straw, who is living in The Philippines, has seen action taken against his legal license in Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois.
"I am suing Indiana and the United States in Virginia and part of the reason I am doing so is the behavior of attorneys in the office of Indiana Attorney General," Straw wrote to CNHI News Indiana.
On Tuesday, the Indiana Disciplinary Commission issued a complaint against Hill. Among the allegations are four counts of battery and one of felony sexual battery.
Hill's conduct, the complaint concludes, caused potential injury to his victims and their future careers "forcing them to choose between reporting his conduct or remaining silent."
The four have since come forward publicly.
The commission has no criminal jurisdiction but considers alleged criminal acts, even when a prosecutor does not seek charges, in assessing a lawyer's conduct. If the commission complaint is proved, the Indiana Supreme Court can then impose a sanction.
Previously, a special prosecutor declined to seek criminal charges against Hill.
Straw's name surfaced in a filing Wednesday by Hill's attorney, Donald Lundberg, of Indianapolis, in a response to the commission's complaint.
Lundberg wrote that none of the women who accused Hill sought action by the commission.
"In fact, the commission determined to investigate this matter at the request of Andrew Straw, a suspended lawyer who was professionally disciplined by this (Indiana Supreme) Court on February 14, 2017," reads Lundberg's filing.
Straw, who says he has suffered from scoliosis since childhood, worked for the Indiana Supreme Court but was fired in 2002. He wrote that his pelvis and both of his legs were broken in a car accident while he was driving to work at the Supreme Court in February 2001.
After the car accident, Straw's handicapped-accessible parking spot was taken away, forcing a five-block walk to work "in excruciating pain," he claimed in a federal lawsuit he filed in 2002.
"Am I angry about how Curtis Hill and his underlings have violated my civil rights and prevented me from getting Justice?" Straw wrote. "If it happened to you, after you broke your legs for the Supreme Court of Indiana, well, I'll just leave my feelings to your imagination."
In February 2017, Straw was suspended by the disciplinary commission for professional misconduct over his representation in four legal cases. He appealed the decision in Indiana federal court until ordered to not make further filings due to "his persistence in submitting frivolous post-judgement filings despite the Court's repeated admonition that he cease doing so."
Straw was also founder in 2013 of the Disability Party of Indiana and sought to become a candidate for U.S. Senate. He sued the state, saying his disability prevented him from obtaining the required number of signatures to run.
The case was officially dismissed in federal court last May.