Heart of the River hosts Protest Paddle

 

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

Duke Energy.

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

involving Duke.

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.

The

above is one of an ongoing series of reports from the Indiana Statehouse by

students at the Franklin College Pulliam School of Journalism.

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