Attorneys for Indiana's former top utility regulator who was charged with breaking state ethics rules say he's immune from criminal prosecution.
Lawyers for former Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission chairman David Lott Hardy tried to persuade the state appeals court on Monday that he's covered by a change in law that came after he was indicted in 2011 on felony misconduct charges.
The state attorney general's office is asking the court to reinstate criminal charges against Hardy.
Then-Gov. Mitch Daniels fired Hardy as commission chairman in 2010 following disclosure of private meetings he had with Duke Energy Corp. executives about cost overruns at the $3.5 billion coal-gasification plant at Edwardsport in southwestern Indiana.
A Marion County grand jury indicted Hardy in 2011 on felony charges of official misconduct, but a county judge ruled later changes to the law invalidated those charges.
Hardy also was accused of helping the IURC's top attorney, Scott Storms, break ethics rules in seeking a job with Duke while helping to oversee the Edwardsport case.
Storms was publicly reprimanded by the Indiana Supreme Court in February.