INDIANAPOLIS — Just days ago, Attorney General Todd Rokita became the second straight Republican Indiana Attorney General charged with disciplinary misconduct for his witch hunt on national television against Dr. Caitlin Bernard.
However, unlike every public official charged with a disciplinary complaint, Rokita is using taxpayer dollars to pay Washington D.C.-based firm Schaerr Jaffe for the defense of his personal law license. His office responded to the complaint through the AG’s office, confirming its putting taxpayers on the hook.
When Curtis Hill faced a complaint for his actions as AG four years ago, he hired his own lawyers. Rokita should be doing the same because this complaint is in regard to his personal law license, which is not property of the AG’s office.
This week, Rokita even admitted that the comments he made last summer on FOX News could “reasonably be considered” to have broken attorney ethics, according to reporting from The Indiana Citizen.
For the past year, even before this complaint was filed, Rokita spent nearly $200,000 of taxpayers’ dollars at a rate of $550/hr to Schaerr Jaffe, all while the average Hoosier worker makes under $20/hr.
Since the start of 2021, Schaerr Jaffe and its attorneys have given $21,500 to Todd Rokita’s Attorney General campaign committee. Now, the AG’s office is paying back Schaerr Jaffe in what smacks of “pay-to-play” behavior.
“Why are Hoosier taxpayers being put on the hook to defend Todd Rokita’s personal law license?” asked Indiana Democratic Party Chair Mike Schmuhl. “Every public official facing these charges in the past, including his predecessor, have paid for their own defense. Rokita, however, is running the bill for Washington D.C. lawyers through the Attorney General’s office. Beltway firm Schaerr Jaffe is poised to rake in up to $1.1 million in taxpayer dollars from Rokita’s witch hunt against Dr. Caitlin Bernard. Before Rokita’s witch hunt began, his campaign received $21,500 from the same law firm the AG’s office would hire. It’s unethical, immoral, and simply wrong. Rokita chose to go on FOX News and slander a medical professional, not anyone else. Hoosiers should not have to pay for Rokita’s actions against Dr. Bernard.
“Rokita has shown over and over that he does not have the temperament or judgment to be the people’s attorney. In 2024, Hoosiers can elect an AG that will end the wasteful spending, and harm that Rokita has brought upon our state and medical community.”
Legal experts around the state have decried Rokita’s actions against Dr. Bernard, and predicted that his judgment would lead to disciplinary consequences.
This political crusade brought Indiana into the national news for all the wrong reasons. Medical professionals spoke up across Indiana to stand with Dr. Bernard, and about the chilling impact this could have on Indiana’s medical standing.