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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. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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