With key hearings scheduled in licensing and civil litigation against Indianapolis OB-GYN Dr. Caitlin Bernard this month, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office will be down four attorneys who worked on the case but have now resigned.
Three of the four were section chiefs for Attorney General Todd Rokita (above).
The Indiana Auditor’s Office — which is notified of personnel changes for payroll purposes — confirmed the recent departures.
Rokita’s office did not respond to numerous requests for information, including resignation letters, but the attorney general himself denied that the staff resignations were related to the Bernard case.
“I have no idea,” Rokita told the Indiana Capital Chronicle when asked last month about the four departing employees. “We have people coming in and out all the time. It’s a 400-person office. I think we’re doing better for the beginning of the year than we have in past years.”
Rokita maintains that Bernard “failed to immediately report the abuse and rape of a child to Indiana authorities” after performing an abortion on a 10-year-old girl from Ohio in June.
He additionally contends that Bernard “failed to uphold legal and Hippocratic responsibilities” by “exploiting a 10-year-old little girl’s traumatic medical story to the press for her own interests.”
Who left the AG’s office?
Caryn Nielman Szyper, assistant section chief in the Administrative and Regulatory Enforcement Litigation Section, was the first to leave the office on Feb. 24.
She joined the attorney general’s office in 2013 as a deputy attorney general and worked in both the Civil Litigation Section and Criminal Appeals sections, according to her staff biography.
A judge withdrew Szyper from Bernard’s civil litigation case on Feb. 27.
Several weeks later on March 19, Szyper’s superior — Jeff Garn, the section chief for Administration and Regulatory Litigation — transferred to the Indiana Office of Administrative Law Proceedings. He was withdrawn from the Bernard case March 22, according to court files.
Two other section chiefs resigned effective March 31.
Aaron Craft, who oversaw Civil Appeals, was responsible for “some of the most complex cases and legal issues facing state government and state officials in both state and federal court,” per his biography published by the attorney general’s office.
He was exited from the Bernard case on March 29.
Also resigned is Mary Hutchison — a former prosecutor in Marion and Madison counties who joined Rokita’s office in 2021 as head of the Licensing Enforcement division.
Hutchison was tasked with weighing the merits of complaints fielded by the attorney general’s office against Bernard. She wasn’t a listed attorney in the civil case but was brought to the stand for the state and questioned by Bernard’s lawyers for two hours during court proceedings in November.
Hutchison defended the office’s investigation into Bernard’s medical license and said at the time that she still had lingering questions surrounding Bernard’s “timely” notification to law enforcement about the 10-year-old’s abuse.