INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s former top utility regulator has asked the
state appeals court to head off his trial on official misconduct charges
because he is undergoing treatment for a life-threatening bone marrow
David Lott Hardy was indicted in December on charges that as chairman of the
Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission he allowed the agency’s top lawyer to
keep overseeing cases involving Duke Energy, where the attorney was trying
to land a job.
Hardy’s doctor wrote in court documents that he has made more than 20
clinical visits during the past two years for treatment including blood
transfusions for severe aplastic anemia, The Indianapolis Star reported in a
story Wednesday (http://indy.st/SoCNWM ). Hardy suffers from fatigue and has
been slow to recover, wrote Dr. Robert Nelson Jr., a clinical immunologist
at Indiana University’s Simon Cancer Center.
A Marion County judge in June rejected Hardy’s request to have the
indictment dismissed. Hardy’s lawyers argued the charges are too broad and
seek to impose criminal liability for violating administrative rules.
In a legal filing made Sept. 17, defense attorney David Hensel also asked
the appeals court to consider the constitutionality of the criminal charges
and his health condition.
Hensel said that resolving the legal questions could avoid the need “for a
costly and lengthy trial.” If the appeal court sided with Hardy’s arguments
before a trial, it would also eliminate the need for Hardy to undergo what
could be a physically demanding ordeal, Hensel said in his motion.
“Requiring Hardy to stand trial will further deteriorate his already fragile
health,” he wrote.
The Marion County prosecutor’s office plans to argue against dismissing the
charges and will push for Hardy to face trial, spokeswoman Brienne Delaney
The indictment also charges that Hardy failed to disclose conversations he
had with Duke executives over the rising costs of the $3.3 billion
coal-gasification plant the company is building near the southwestern
Indiana town of Edwardsport.
Gov. Mitch Daniels fired Hardy in October 2010 after an internal review
showed that Scott Storms, who was the utility commission’s top attorney and
an administrative law judge, discussed a position with Duke while presiding
over hearings concerning the company.