NewsPublic Affairs / November 4, 2016

Legal Expert Weighs In On Hollingsworth Residency Controversy

Trey Hollingsworth moved to Indiana last year and hopes to win the 9th District congressional seat vacated by Todd Young.

Trey Hollingsworth moved to Indiana last year and hopes to win the 9th District congressional seat vacated by Todd Young.

An Associated Press review this week revealed Republican 9th district congressional candidate Trey Hollingsworth filed papers in at least five states that require him to live outside Indiana. A legal expert says there’s no financial incentive for doing so.

The AP revealed Hollingsworth is what’s called a “registered agent” for his company in at least five states. That means he must live in each of those states so legal paperwork can be served.

While Hollingsworth signed the paperwork that made him a registered agent, his campaign says the filings were a clerical mistake made by a former employee. Reporters weren’t allowed to ask questions about the controversy during a press conference Thursday, but WTIU/WFIU talked to Hollingsworth one-on-one.

“And I hate that, I hate that somebody on our team made a mistake,” Hollingsworth says. “But it’s nothing more than that.”

Democrat Shelli Yoder says she isn’t buying Hollingsworth’s explanation.

“A clerical error and signing in the wrong box state, after state, after state, after state in such a systematic way, that’s not a clerical error,” Yoder says. “That’s not one mistake. That appears to be very intentional.”

But Indiana University McKinney School of Law Vice Dean Antony Page says Hollingsworth’s company wouldn’t gain anything by listing him as the registered agent in multiple states.

“I think it’s more likely that it’s just careless and sloppy,” Page says. “What most companies would do is they would just hire a company to serve as a registered agent.”

Page says the error amounts to a misdemeanor in most states.

Hollingsworth’s campaign says it’s filing the necessary amendments in all of the states involved to make sure the paperwork is correct.

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