New state prisons chief, utility board member named

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Gov. Mitch Daniels has appointed a new leader for Indiana's prisons system and selected a new member for the state utility commission to replace a member ousted because of an ethics controversy with Duke Energy.

The governor's office announced Thursday that Kari Evans Bennett is joining the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. Bennett has been chief legal counsel for the state Department of Natural Resources and an attorney for the state Department of Environmental Management.

Bennett replaces David Lott Hardy, whom Daniels fired in October over his knowledge of job discussions between Duke and a top commission staffer.

Bruce Lemmon becomes the new commissioner of the Department of Correction. He's now superintendent of the Putnamville Correctional Facility and replaces Edwin Buss, who's leaving to head up Florida's prison system.

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