A Marion County grand jury has indicted the former chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission on three felony counts of official misconduct stemming from a scandal involving the agency and Duke Energy.
David Lott Hardy, whom Gov. Mitch Daniels fired earlier this year, faces charges that he failed to follow state rules for private communications with companies that the utility commission regulates.
Emails uncovered by The Indianapolis Star show that Hardy had been communicating with Duke Energy officials about hiring the agency's chief counsel, Scott Storms, while the attorney was overseeing a case involving Duke.
Two of the charges – D felonies – accuse Hardy of failing to disclose private communications as required. A third charge — also a D felony — accuses Hardy of helping Storms while allowing him to oversee proceedings involving Duke.
"I'm pleased that grand jury members returned an indictment and appreciate their hard work on behalf of our community," said Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry in a news release announcing the indictment. "We look forward to vigorously prosecuting this case to its conclusion."
Duke eventually hired Storms but the ethics investigation that followed led him as well as other state and Duke officials to lose their jobs.
Hardy did not immediately return a message left at a number listed for him in Fort Wayne.
The above is one of an ongoing series of reports from the Indiana Statehouse by students at the Franklin College Pulliam School of Journalism.