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Judges to hear misconduct case against former IURC chairman Monday

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A panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals Monday will hear arguments on whether four misconduct charges should have been dismissed against former Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission chairman David Lott Hardy.

Hardy was indicted by a Marion County grand jury in 2011 on four counts of Class D felony official misconduct. He was accused of lobbying Duke Energy to hire then IURC administrative law judge Scott Storms, and of having ex parte communications with the power company about the Edwardsport plant in 2010. The bases for the charges were four of Hardy’s actions between 2008 and 2010 that allegedly violated Indiana law, including a violation of Indiana ethics laws, a civil law infraction and two violations of administrative regulations.

In August, Marion County Superior Judge William Nelson granted Hardy’s motion to dismiss all charges. Nelson held the Indiana General Assembly’s changes to the criminal official misconduct statute, I.C., 35-44-1-2, which became effective July 1, 2012, were meant to be retroactive.

Following recommendations of the Indiana inspector general, the Indiana General Assembly tightened the criminal official misconduct statute. The changes clarified that the law applied to specific criminal offenses by public officials committed in the performance of the public servant’s official duties, and did not apply to violations of ethical or administrative rules or infractions. An “offense” only encompasses felonies or misdemeanors.

The trial court dismissed the charges against Hardy because it determined that this amendment was remedial in nature and applied to Hardy retroactively, even though his alleged violations occurred before the amendment.

The state appealed, with Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller asserting that if the General Assembly intended to make a 2012 change in the law retroactive, it would have written that language into the statute which it did not do.

The scheduled panel members are Judges Paul D. Mathias, Cale J. Bradford and Rudolph R. Pyle III.
 

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  1. 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.

  2. 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!!!

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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