So, we got an e-mail from the Indiana Attorney General’s Office calling our report on his press release inaccurate, We made a couple of minor corrections, but our original report never used the word, “fine”

FILE PHOTO — INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – JULY 25: Abortion-rights protesters demonstrate inside the Indiana State house as the Indiana State Legislature holds a special session on July 25, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The legislature is holding a special session to consider curtailing abortion rights in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade last month. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

Updated November 3, 2023 

Staff report

Indianapolis, Indiana – November 2, 2023

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita responded defiantly to a recent disciplinary commission resolution, vowing to continue serving as the state’s duly-elected attorney general, according to a press release from his office. Editor’s note, we’ve taken out phrase about innocence since the press office of the ATG responded:

Your coverage (https://bloomingtonian.com/2023/11/02/indiana-attorney-general-todd-rokita-issues-defiant-statement-following-censure-blames-the-media-medical-establishment-and-cancel-culture/) of the Indiana’s Supreme Court’s decision re: Attorney General Rokita misrepresents the AG’s statement in response to the decision yesterday to issue a public reprimand.

At no point does the AG deny wrongdoing. See page 25 of public response filed by the AG in September. The AG publicly admits that use of the phrase “abortion activist acting as a doctor — with a history of failure to report” on July 13, 2022 could reasonably be considered to have violated Indiana Rule of Professional Conduct 3.6(a).

The AG’s statement that “I deny and was not found to have violated anyone’s confidentiality or any laws” is accurate. The court did not find that he violated anyone’s confidentiality or laws. They ruled that the 16 words said in a TV interview were “an extrajudicial statement that had a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding and had no substantial purpose other than to embarrass or burden the physician.”

Rokita’s statement comes in the wake of a ‘public reprimand’ he received for remarks he made over a year ago.

The Indiana Supreme Court has issued a ruling stating that Rokita, was found to have “engaged in attorney misconduct” due to comments he made on Fox News regarding Indianapolis obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Caitlin Bernard who conducted an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio.

In response to this finding, Rokita will face a public reprimand and has been ordered to pay $250 to the clerk of the Indiana Supreme Court for “court costs and filing fees.” The ruling was officially issued on Thursday.

Editor’s Note: The Indiana Attorney General’s Office wrote to the Bloomingtonian to say this fee was not a fine. The Bloomingtonian has called it a “penalty,” not a “fine.” But, there is a legal distinction between paying court fees, and a fine, so we’ve taken out the word “penalty” to clarify. We’ve put the entire message we received about a correction below, so readers can decide.

The controversy, as described by Rokita, centered around a 16-word comment he made. Rokita says he stated, “…we have this abortion activist acting as a doctor— with a history of failing to report.”

The attorney general contended that the media, medical establishment, and cancel culture rallied in support of Bernard, who Rokita alleges exposed personal health information at a political rally. Rokita argued that the aim of these “liberal activists” was to undermine his role as attorney general and to nullify the nearly 2 million votes he garnered in the election, the largest amount in Indiana history for any state office candidate.

Rokita said, “These liberal activists would like to cancel your vote because they hate the fact I stand up for liberty,” and cited his efforts in the healthcare sector, where he opposed vaccine mandates, challenged COVID data, and took actions to curtail Indiana’s “abortion business.” He also mentioned his enforcement actions against hospitals and healthcare providers for failing to safeguard patient privacy.

In the statement, Rokita expressed his decision to avoid further legal battles, citing the importance of saving taxpayer money and avoiding distractions.

“Now, I will focus even more resources on successfully defending Indiana’s laws, including our pro-life laws, and fighting the mob that silences parents, employees, conservative students, law enforcement, Believers of all faiths, American patriots and free enterprise itself,” said Rokita.

Message received from ATG press office about correction:

Hello Jeremy,

Your coverage (https://bloomingtonian.com/2023/11/02/indiana-attorney-general-todd-rokita-issues-defiant-statement-following-censure-blames-the-media-medical-establishment-and-cancel-culture/) of the Indiana’s Supreme Court’s decision re: Attorney General Rokita misrepresents the AG’s statement in response to the decision yesterday to issue a public reprimand.

At no point does the AG deny wrongdoing. See page 25 of public response filed by the AG in September. The AG publicly admits that use of the phrase “abortion activist acting as a doctor — with a history of failure to report” on July 13, 2022 could reasonably be considered to have violated Indiana Rule of Professional Conduct 3.6(a).

The AG’s statement that “I deny and was not found to have violated anyone’s confidentiality or any lawsis accurate. The court did not find that he violated anyone’s confidentiality or laws. They ruled that the 16 words said in a TV interview were “an extrajudicial statement that had a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding and had no substantial purpose other than to embarrass or burden the physician.”

The Attorney General also was not fined, as he noted in the first sentence of his statement yesterday. The $250.00 is an administrative court cost. See the screenshot below from My Case.

If you could please let us know when this correction/clarification has been made we would greatly appreciate it. Thank you,”

Also, here is the text of the original press release:

Attorney General Todd Rokita’s Statement on Disciplinary Commission Resolution

“First things first: I deny and was not found to have violated anyone’s confidentiality or any laws. I was not fined. And I will continue as Indiana’s duly-elected attorney general.

Despite the failed attempt to derail our work —which could have disenfranchised nearly 2 million voters, the largest amount in Indiana history for any state office candidate — it all boiled down to a truthful 16-word answer I gave over a year ago during an international media storm caused by an abortionist who put her interests above her patient’s.  I received a ‘public reprimand’ for saying that “…we have this abortion activist acting as a doctor— with a history of failing to report.”

The media, medical establishment and cancel culture, all on cue, supported—and then attempted to vindicate—the abortionist who intentionally exposed personal health information at a political rally all in furtherance of their shared ideological and business interests.

These liberal activists would like to cancel your vote because they hate the fact I stand up for liberty. In the healthcare space alone, I stopped the vaccine mandate, publicly contested severely flawed Covid data, significantly curtailed Indiana’s abortion business and fined hospitals and healthcare providers for not putting patients’ privacy first.

Having evidence and explanation for everything I said, I could have fought over those 16 words, but ending their campaign now will save a lot of taxpayer money and distraction, which is  also very important to me. In order to resolve this, I was required to sign an affidavit without any modifications.

Now, I will focus even more resources on successfully defending Indiana’s laws, including our pro-life laws, and fighting the mob that silences parents, employees, conservative students, law enforcement, Believers of all faiths, American patriots and free enterprise itself.

As I said at the time, my words are factual. The IU Health physician who caused the international media spectacle at the expense of her patient’s privacy is by her own actions an outspoken abortion activist.

Many know that she openly discussed with a reporter, and caused to be identified, a 10-year-old rape victim at a political rally. She also used this opportunity to wedge herself into various media outlets, including MSNBC and CBS News. In the end, she had the attention of the entire country, including the pro-abortion President and Vice President.

Less well- known is that for years she has appeared as the keynote speaker at pro-abortion rallies and has roamed the hallways of the legislature in a white lab coat attempting to influence lawmakers. Then, in 2019, the doctor unsuccessfully brought litigation against the people of Indiana to legalize a brutal abortion procedure where the living child is extracted piece by piece. She also poses and is interviewed regularly in media outlets and her full-time patient practice focuses exclusively on performing abortions.

Bernard also claims a tattoo —an image of a coat hanger— that she displays and openly discusses with the national media. Whether you think this behavior is good or bad, I challenge any objective Hoosier to conclude that she isn’t an “abortion activist,” as I stated.

Also, according to media accounts and complainant press releases, it was in fact publicly alleged well before my tv interview that the abortionist had failed to properly report her work to the state’s department of health.

Privacy must exist between doctor and patient in order for trust to exist so that healthcare can advance. So, we work hard to protect personal health information—like a little girl’s identity and medical trauma—from publication by their caregivers. This is why Bernard’s own peers fined her the maximum allowed by law.

By the way, the Office of Attorney General has nearly two dozen patient privacy cases pending at any time, debunking any claims of a vendetta against Bernard.

Had the cancel culture establishment been successful disenfranchising us, they also would have stifled other elected officials from keeping voters, citizens, and taxpayers informed—especially when uncomfortable facts fall outside a preferred narrative.

I thank Hoosiers for their continued support as we fight for our values.”

###”

Rate this post

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 2.4 / 5. Vote count: 5

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Liked it? Take a second to support The Bloomingtonian on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!