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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. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

  4. The sad thing is that no fish were thrown overboard The "greenhorn" who had never fished before those 5 days was interrogated for over 4 hours by 5 officers until his statement was illicited, "I don't want to go to prison....." The truth is that these fish were measured frozen off shore and thawed on shore. The FWC (state) officer did not know fish shrink, so the only reason that these fish could be bigger was a swap. There is no difference between a 19 1/2 fish or 19 3/4 fish, short fish is short fish, the ticket was written. In addition the FWC officer testified at trial, he does not measure fish in accordance with federal law. There was a document prepared by the FWC expert that said yes, fish shrink and if these had been measured correctly they averaged over 20 inches (offshore frozen). This was a smoke and mirror prosecution.

  5. I love this, Dave! Many congrats to you! We've come a long way from studying for the bar together! :)

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