Marilyn Odendahl. 2023. The Indiana Citizen: Moonlighting: Rokita fights court order to release report on his private employment — even though it allows him to redact as much as he wants. The Indiana Citizen. March 9, 2023
One day after being sworn in as Attorney General in January 2021, Todd Rokita asked a state watchdog agency, the Office of the Inspector General, for an opinion on his continued employment by his latest employer, Apex Benefits.
Three days later, the IG issued its opinion, which Rokita said found no ethical violations with the private sector employment. Rokita nevertheless quit the Apex job, and more than two years later, refuses to release the opinion and is using attorneys on his staff to fight litigation filed to force its disclosure.
His refusal continues despite a court order and even though it allows him to black out as much of the inspector general’s report as he chooses.
Speaking to The Indiana Citizen, Zachary Baiel, president of the Indiana Coalition for Open Government, questioned why the attorney general would make the effort to get the inspector general’s opinion and then not release it to the public. He speculated that although Rokita has said the report found no wrongdoing, the actual findings may be more nuanced by including some caveats or recommendations to ensure no ethical violations.
The purpose for making the report public is not for a “gotcha,” Baiel said but rather to allow the voters to know what their public officials are doing. He added that some voters may see private sector employment as a way for politicians to stay connected to their communities and better address their constituents’ needs.
“It helps inform people,” Baiel said of the report. “It’s important to have these inspector general opinions out there so voters have the knowledge and can apply whatever calculus they want in deciding if an elected official is worthy of their vote.”
You can read the full article here: https://indianacitizen.org/moonlighting-rokita-fights-court-order-to-release-report-on-his-private-employment-even-though-it-allows-him-to-black-out-as-much-as-he-wants/