Attorney General Rokita gives up private-sector job after scrutiny

Rokita

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, who drew scrutiny last month over his decision to retain employment with a health care benefits business while serving in his elected position, says he has given up the private-sector job.

“I have concluded my limited involvement in Apex Benefits and am divesting my equity position so as to remove any potential concerns for the company and its clients,” Rokita said Friday afternoon in a Twitter posting.

Rokita, a Republican, had been working for Indianapolis-based Apex Benefits since February 2019 after choosing not to seek re-election for Indiana’s 4th Congressional District—a seat he had represented since 2010—and instead pursuing an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate in 2018.

He entered the attorney general race in May and, after ousting former GOP Attorney General Curtis Hill in the party’s primary convention race, he defeated Democrat Jonathan Weinzapfel in November.

Rokita was sworn into office in January, but he continues to serve as strategic policy adviser for Apex, which helps employers find ways to lower health care costs. He previously worked as the firm’s general counsel and vice president of external affairs.

He also has ownership interest in the company.

A watchdog group and political opponents criticized Rokita’s decision to remain with the firm after becoming attorney general, calling it a potential conflict of interest.

He also said he sought and received an opinion from the Indiana Inspector General’s Office that indicated “his interests and outside employment are all squarely within the boundaries of the law and do not conflict with his official duties.”

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10 thoughts on “Attorney General Rokita gives up private-sector job after scrutiny

  1. Even when forced to do the right thing, he can’t think of the citizens who he is supposed to serve. Instead he did this out of “potential concerns for the company and its clients”. What a joke. Indiana deserves better.

    1. Missing your point…..What is the difference if he is involved with a for profit or not for profit organization?

    2. Why did he not release the Inspector General’s written opinion that allegedly found his outside employment perfectly legal and ethical? Could it be because there was no such finding? The stink from this affair will follow Rokita for a long, long time.

    3. I could go on and on and on, but the conclusion would be the same … this guy is bad news and cares nothing about the people he is supposed to be serving.

  2. Well now he’s officially a member of NAAG, which stands for either “National Association of Attorneys-General” or “National Association of Aspiring Governors”. Probably both.

  3. This episode makes it very clear that Mr. Rokita’s judgment is very poor to think that he could retain a profitable (or not-for-profit, pace Clark B.) employment that could conflict with his public responsibilities. Further, the episode shows he does not have the interests of the citizens at heart. Last, he appears to be (partially) contrite only because he was caught with his hand in the till.

    This slippery guy requires careful watching. To IBJ reporters and editors: please beef up your reporting so that you aren’t scooped by a blogger again.

  4. Even as Todd follows The Orange One’s ethical lead, why buy himself the heartburn? I’m guessing there was a bonus, deferred compensation or other money grab here that caused him to keep the other gig until now.

  5. For the millionth time, we ought to have an appointed Attorney General. It makes no sense for an attorney to have a different position from their client, and under the current system, that’s a regular occurrence. Perhaps worse, sometimes the AG plans to run for the client’s office – that’s pretty clear where Rokita is headed. Few people who vote have any idea what the attorney general even does. The office can’t bring charges, and isn’t involved in enforcing laws. It handles criminal appeals from cases that have already been decided, advises state agencies, and issues non-binding opinions to the legislature if so requested. Still, in every election, you’ll see folks campaign for the office on a “tough on crime platform. We have had AGs who have refused to represent the state in courts, Let the Governor appoint the office and do away with this nonsense.

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