Magdaleno, Johnny. 2023. AG Todd Rokita’s office requires an NDA. It might threaten free speech. The Indianapolis Star, July 19th, 2023.
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita’s employees are signing nondisclosure agreements that could cost them $25,000 if they share personal information about the AG — an unusual policy for state office and one that sets him apart from almost all other attorneys general in the country.
State offices here and dozens of other states’ attorney general offices told IndyStar they don’t have their employees sign contracts like this. Rokita’s office stands by it, however, and says its employees “understand this requirement” before they agree to work there.
The contract doesn’t prevent employees from reporting unlawful behavior to state or federal authorities. But multiple experts who reviewed a copy said it raises concerns about constraints on free speech as well as the public’s right to know what goes on in the offices of elected officials.
“The (NDA’s) definition of ‘confidential information’ seems designed to shield public officials from scrutiny,” contract law expert Michael Mattioli told IndyStar. “And that’s an essential part of living in a well-functioning democracy.”