A Marion County grand jury has indicted the
former chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission on three felony
counts of official misconduct stemming from a scandal involving the agency and
David Lott Hardy, whom Gov. Mitch Daniels fired
earlier this year, faces charges that he failed to follow state rules for
private communications with companies that the utility commission regulates.
Emails uncovered by The Indianapolis Star show
that Hardy had been communicating with Duke Energy officials about hiring the
agency's chief counsel, Scott Storms, while the attorney was overseeing a case
Two of the charges – D felonies –
accuse Hardy of failing to disclose private communications as required. A third
charge — also a D felony — accuses Hardy of helping Storms while
allowing him to oversee proceedings involving Duke.
"I'm pleased that grand jury members returned an
indictment and appreciate their hard work on behalf of our community,"
said Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry in a news release announcing the indictment. "We look forward to vigorously
prosecuting this case to its conclusion."
Duke eventually hired Storms but the ethics
investigation that followed led him as well as other state and Duke officials
to lose their jobs.
Hardy did not immediately return a message left
at a number listed for him in Fort Wayne.
above is one of an ongoing series of reports from the Indiana Statehouse by
students at the Franklin College Pulliam School of Journalism.