Scandal rocks IURC, Duke

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Year In Review

An ethics scandal at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission brought down its chairman along with two top Duke Energy executives and an IURC law judge-turned Duke employee who was at the center of the mess.

Scott Storms, the administrative law judge and chief counsel at the commission, last summer applied for a job as an attorney for Duke. Storms had helped administer a number of Duke cases pending before the commission, including the utility’s $2.9 billion coal gasification plant under construction in Edwardsport.

One of the Edwardsport plant’s strongest opponents, Citizens Action Coalition, questioned the integrity of Storms’ recent rulings regarding Duke. Gov. Mitch Daniels fired the chairman of the commission, David Lott Hardy, in October, after an internal review concluded Hardy allowed Storms to continue to work on Duke cases even as he jockeyed for a job with Duke.

The state ethics commission originally cleared Storms to take the job at Duke, but the commission later filed charges after additional information came to light, including e-mails indicating Hardy and Storms appeared to make light of ethics commission procedures. Hardy appeared to be helping Storms get hired at Duke.

“As to this ethics [sh--], we will get through it—hang in there,” Hardy told Storms in one e-mail.

North Carolina-based Duke placed Storms and its top Indiana executive, Mike Reed, on administrative leave and later fired both of them. More recently, Duke’s president of U.S. franchise gas and electric operations, Jim Turner, resigned, after e-mails surfaced suggesting that he and Hardy were chummy.

In recent weeks, groups concerned about Edwardsport’s spiraling cost overruns asked the commission to reopen a settlement agreement struck this year that would have capped costs of the plant. They say the agreement was tainted as it was negotiated under the leadership of Reed and Turner, citing the potential of undue influence.•


Post a comment to this story

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

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Can your dog sign a marriage license or personally state that he wishes to join you in a legal union? If not then no, you cannot marry him. When you teach him to read, write, and speak a discernible language, then maybe you'll have a reasonable argument. Thanks for playing!

  2. Look no further than Mike Rowe, the former host of dirty jobs, who was also a classically trained singer.

  3. Current law states income taxes are paid to the county of residence not county of income source. The most likely scenario would be some alteration of the income tax distribution formula so money earned in Marion co. would go to Marion Co by residents of other counties would partially be distributed to Marion co. as opposed to now where the entirety is held by the resident's county.

  4. This is more same-old, same-old from a new generation of non-progressive 'progressives and fear mongers. One only needs to look at the economic havoc being experienced in California to understand the effect of drought on economies and people's lives. The same mindset in California turned a blind eye to the growth of population and water needs in California, defeating proposal after proposal to build reservoirs, improve water storage and delivery infrastructure...and the price now being paid for putting the demands of a raucous minority ahead of the needs of many. Some people never, never learn..

  5. I wonder if I can marry him too? Considering we are both males, wouldn't that be a same sex marriage as well? If they don't honor it, I'll scream discrimination just like all these people have....