Todd Rokita accused of misconduct by Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission
In the latest development in the saga surrounding Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita and Dr. Caitlin Bernard, the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission filed a formal complaint against Rokita on Monday in relation to his conduct and comments made about the doctor.
The disciplinary commission's complaint says Rokita violated Indiana’s code of professional conduct by making prejudicial statements about Dr. Bernard on a number of occasions, most notably during an appearance on Fox News in July of 2022.
In that TV appearance, Rokita said, that Bernad is “an abortion activist acting as a doctor — with a history of failure to report.”
That comment was cited by the commission as violating multiple counts of the code of conduct for making comments during an active investigation that could prejudice proceedings. The complaint adds that no lawyer should make comments about a case "that have no substantial purpose other than to embarrass, delay, or burden a third person."
The Indiana Supreme Court will ultimately decide what, if any, punishment Rokita receives if it finds he acted improperly. Punishments can range from fines to a law license being temporarily suspended or revoked.
The disciplinary complaint comes on the heels of Rokitafiling a federal lawsuit against IU Health over its support of Bernard. Last summer, Bernard gave abortion care to a 10-year-old girl from Ohio who had been raped and then discussed the case with the Indianapolis Star.
Bernard was eventually reprimanded by the state’s medical licensing board for violating patient privacy laws, but IU Health issued a statement supporting Bernard, standing by its own assessment that Bernard didn't violate patient confidentiality.
Todd Rokita is now the second attorney general to face disciplinary charges by the state's supreme court. Rokita's predecessor Republican Curtis Hill had his law license suspendedby the court for 30 days in May 2020 for groping four women at a party in 2018.