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. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  2. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  3. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.

  4. rensselaer imdiana is doing same thing to children from the judge to attorney and dfs staff they need to be investigated as well

  5. Sex offenders are victims twice, once when they are molested as kids, and again when they repeat the behavior, you never see money spent on helping them do you. That's why this circle continues