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Dropped charges against former IURC chief won’t be appealed

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The state no longer is contesting the dismissal of official misconduct charges against former Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission Chairman David Lott Hardy.

Hardy’s attorney, David Hensel of Pence Hensel LLC, said time for the state to seek further review of court rulings dismissing the charges had expired, leaving to stand an April 29 Court of Appeals ruling.

Former Gov. Mitch Daniels fired Hardy after he was accused of allowing then-IURC administrative law judge Scott Storms to continue to hear Duke Energy cases even as Storms was trying to land a job with the utility. Hardy also was accused of having ex parte communications with Duke about its Edwardsport coal-gasification power plant project in 2010.

Hardy was indicted on Class D felony official misconduct charges by a Marion County grand jury in 2010, but Marion Superior Judge William Nelson later dismissed the charges. The state appealed the ruling.

The Court of Appeals affirmed dismissal of the charges. The appellate panel ruled that precedent and caselaw establish the official misconduct statute may not be applied without an underlying criminal offense, and there were none in Hardy’s case.

Hensel said the arguments that prevailed at the trial and appellate courts were the same that failed to dissuade Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry from filing charges.
 
“Mr. Hardy is gratified that the Court of Appeals unanimously confirmed that he did not engage in any criminal conduct and upheld the dismissal of all charges against him,” Hensel said in a statement.

Bryan Corbin, spokesman for the Indiana attorney general’s office, said that because the Legislature amended the statute after charges against Hardy were dropped, any appeal would have applied only in his case.

 “After carefully reviewing the Indiana Court of Appeals’ April 29 decision that upheld dismissal of charges … and after consulting with the Marion County prosecutor, the Indiana attorney general’s office determined that an appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court is likely unwinnable even if the Court accepted the case for hearing, so it would not be appropriate to request transfer here,” Corbin said.



 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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