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Commission asks state Supreme Court to make public AG Rokita's disciplinary agreement

A still image from a video interview with Todd Rokita. Rokita is a White man with dark hair, wearing a suit.
Alan Mbathi
IPB News
The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission said comments made by Attorney General Todd Rokita "flouted the authority" of the state Supreme Court.

Indiana’s attorney disciplinary commission says Attorney General Todd Rokita “flouted the authority” of the state Supreme Court with comments he made about the public reprimand he received earlier this year.

The commission is asking the court to take an “extraordinary” step and make public Rokita’s confidential disciplinary agreement.

The Indiana Supreme Court approved an agreement in November between the attorney disciplinary commission and Rokita that said he committed misconduct.

The discipline stemmed from comments made by the attorney general about Dr. Caitlin Bernard after she publicly discussed providing abortion care to a 10-year-old Ohio rape victim.

Shortly after the court’s opinion, Rokita issued a statement denying any wrongdoing, arguing he only agreed to admit misconduct to “save a lot of taxpayer money and distraction.”

READ MORE: Rokita under investigation again by Indiana attorney disciplinary commission

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The disciplinary commission said those comments call into question Rokita’s sincerity and damage public perception of the attorney discipline system’s “integrity and justness.”

It said publicly releasing the agreement and the affidavit that goes with it – which Rokita signed – will help restore public faith “that lawyers cannot manipulate the discipline system.”

The next step in the process allows Rokita to respond to the commission’s request. If the request moves forward from there, the Supreme Court would hold a public hearing before making a decision.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.