IBJNews

Judge won't dismiss charge against ex-utility boss

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A judge has refused to dismiss an official misconduct charge against Indiana's former top utility regulator.

David Lott Hardy's attorney told a judge Monday that he would file a pretrial appeal, Marion County prosecutor's office spokeswoman Brienne Delaney said.

The former chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission was indicted in December on three counts of official misconduct. The indictment alleged that Hardy allowed the panel's top lawyer to keep overseeing cases involving Duke Energy Corp. even though he knew the attorney was trying to land a job at the utility company.

Hardy had filed a motion in Marion Superior Court in April to dismiss an amended indictment against him, claiming he did nothing criminal. He claimed the charges are too broad and seek to impose criminal liability for violating administrative rules.

One of the counts alleges that Hardy communicated with Duke Energy employees regarding efforts by former IURC attorney Scott Storms to secure a job with Duke, and that he allowed Storms to continue handling Duke-related matters before the commission.

The two other counts allege that Hardy failed to disclose conversations he allegedly had with Duke employees over the rising costs of the $3.3 billion coal-gasification plant the company is building near the southwestern Indiana town of Edwardsport.

Hardy's attorney, David Hensel, did not immediately respond to a telephone message seeking comment Tuesday.

Gov. Mitch Daniels fired Hardy in October 2010 after an internal review showed that Storms, who was the IURC's top attorney and an administrative law judge, discussed a position with Duke while presiding over hearings concerning the utility.

The utility also fired Storms, and ethical problems related to the project cost two high-ranking Duke executives their jobs.

The cost estimate of the plant, located about 60 miles north of Evansville, has climbed from its original estimate of $1.9 billion in 2007 to the current estimate of $3.3 billion.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Duke Energy, which is Indiana's largest electric utility with about 780,000 customers, has attributed those cost increases in part to design changes for the plant, which will be one of the largest coal-gasification plants in the world.

The 630-megawatt plant will convert coal into a synthetic gas that will be burned in a traditional turbine power plant to produce electricity.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. With Pence running the ship good luck with a new government building on the site. He does everything on the cheap except unnecessary roads line a new beltway( like we need that). Things like state of the art office buildings and light rail will never be seen as an asset to these types. They don't get that these are the things that help a city prosper.

  2. Does the $100,000,000,000 include salaries for members of Congress?

  3. "But that doesn't change how the piece plays to most of the people who will see it." If it stands out so little during the day as you seem to suggest maybe most of the people who actually see it will be those present when it is dark enough to experience its full effects.

  4. That's the mentality of most retail marketers. In this case Leo was asked to build the brand. HHG then had a bad sales quarter and rather than stay the course, now want to go back to the schlock that Zimmerman provides (at a considerable cut in price.) And while HHG salesmen are, by far, the pushiest salesmen I have ever experienced, I believe they are NOT paid on commission. But that doesn't mean they aren't trained to be aggressive.

  5. The reason HHG's sales team hits you from the moment you walk through the door is the same reason car salesmen do the same thing: Commission. HHG's folks are paid by commission they and need to hit sales targets or get cut, while BB does not. The sales figures are aggressive, so turnover rate is high. Electronics are the largest commission earners along with non-needed warranties, service plans etc, known in the industry as 'cheese'. The wholesale base price is listed on the cryptic price tag in the string of numbers near the bar code. Know how to decipher it and you get things at cost, with little to no commission to the sales persons. Whether or not this is fair, is more of a moral question than a financial one.

ADVERTISEMENT