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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. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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