Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita Responds to Complaint by Issuing Press Release; Questions whether the confidentiality statute applies to him

Staff report written from press release

Indianapolis, Indiana – September 18, 2023

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, responded to a complaint against him by issuing a press release, and audio statement.

Rokita said he will combat what he referred to as the “culture of death, grievance, and transanity” being propagated by “radicals” in various facets of society, including workplaces, schools, media, and government.

“This work certainly includes vindicating vulnerable children (our most precious gift) for having their privacy rights unlawfully violated — without consent — by healthcare providers to further their political agenda and their ‘bottom line.’ I won’t stop in this and my other work,” Rokita stated.

The Attorney General, who is seeking re-election, also revealed that he has already filed a response to the recent complaint, primarily stemming from media reports. He made this response publicly available, citing information not previously reported by the media.

Rokita’s response included several key points addressing the allegations in the complaint. Highlights from his response to the disciplinary commission are as follows:

  1. Dr. Caitlin Bernard’s alleged violations of patient confidentiality included disclosing patient information at a political function and discussing patient details in a televised interview, both of which Rokita argued breached her duty of confidentiality.
  2. Rokita contended that his statements regarding certain versions of Termination of Pregnancy Reports (TPRs) did not concern confidential information and should have been publicized already by agencies under the control of another elected official. Additionally, these TPRs were not yet part of a licensing investigation.
  3. Rokita defended his statements about “fighting this to the end” and not “letting it go,” asserting that they reflected his commitment to fulfilling official duties and keeping the public informed, even in politically sensitive situations.
  4. Dr. Bernard’s violations triggered a non-confidential HIPAA investigation, which Rokita’s statements addressed, according to Rokita.
  5. Rokita said the confidentiality statute referenced in the complaint only prohibited discussion of “complaints and information pertaining to the complaints,” which he did not discuss.
  6. As an elected official responsible for keeping the public informed, Rokita questioned whether the confidentiality statute applied to him, as it specifically pertained to employees of the Attorney General’s Office, who are not elected.
  7. Rokita emphasized his legal duty to keep the public informed about non-confidential matters, as accountability to the public is fundamental to democracy.
  8. He distanced himself from the interest generated in the Bernard matter and any judicial burden that ensued, attributing the public interest to Dr. Bernard’s public disclosure of her patient’s private medical information.
  9. Rokita argued that public interest in administrative and judicial processes is not prejudicial to the administration of justice and highlighted the importance of transparency in the judicial process.
  10. The Attorney General affirmed his cooperation with the Indiana Disciplinary Commission and his continued pursuit of the proper administration of justice.
  11. He pointed out that the Indiana Medical Licensing Board had found the Dr. Bernard mentioned in the complaint guilty of unlawfully violating her patient’s privacy and imposing the maximum fine.

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