Holcomb Says He Won't Judge Bosma on Basis of Indy Star Report
(INDIANAPOLIS) - Governor Holcomb is steering clear of a former House intern's accusation that Speaker Brian Bosma tried to intimidate her into keeping silent about a sexual encounter she claims they had 26 years ago.
The Indianapolis Star reported Bosma hired an attorney who gathered damaging information about the woman, and warned her it could become public if she aired her claim of a sexual tryst. Holcomb says it wouldn't be fair to judge the speaker purely on the basis of a news story. And he says he doesn't have the authority to order a more formal investigation. He says it'd be up to Bosma or the woman, identified in the Star as Kandy Green, to request one.
Holcomb and Bosma are among several officials in both parties who have publicly called for Attorney General Curtis Hill's resignation over four women's charges he groped them at a bar. Holcomb says that situation was different because one of the accusers, East Chicago Rep. Mara Candelaria-Reardon, had complained to Bosma and other legislative leaders, who commissioned an outside review of the General Assembly's potential liabilty,
Inspector General Lori Torres has since begun a broader investigation of the Hill accusations. But the governor says the law which created Torres' position excludes the legislature from her jurisdiction.
Bosma hasn't responded to a request for comment from WIBC, but issued a statement to the Star calling the woman's claims "false" and "discredited." Attorney Linda Pence told the Star the woman mischaracterized her investigation. Bosma says he hired Pence when the Star began making inquiries.
Pence is a prominent Indianapolis litigator and was the Democratic nominee for attorney general in 2008.
While Holcomb is remaining silent, 59 of Bosma's fellow House Republicans and five Republican House candidates issued a statement through Bosma's campaign calling the speaker a "man of integrity" and declaring they believe his denials. They call the charges an "attempt by the Indianapolis Star to discredit him."
Green told the star she performed a consensual sex act on Bosma in 1992, when she was a 20-year-old intern. Bosma was 34 then and in his third term in the House. The speaker is seeking a 17th term in next month's election.
State Democratic Chairman John Zody didn't address the sexual claim, but says Bosma's countermoves "appear to be tactics used to intimidate." He says Holcomb should have called for an investigation, and should explain what he'll do instead.
Bosma, along with other House and Senate leaders, has been crafting a sexual-harassment policy for the General Assembly, to be adopted after the swearing-in of the new legislature on November 20. Holcomb says he's not worried about Bosma's ability to participate in that effort. He says the final policy will be the work of all 150 legislators.
Holcomb and Chief Justice Loretta Rush announced anti-harassment policies for the executive and judicial branches in March.
House Speaker Brian Bosma (left) (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)