(AP) — A judge on Monday threw out four felony counts of official
misconduct against Indiana's former top utility regulator.
Hardy's behavior as Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission chairman in
connection with the Duke Energy ethics scandal was not criminal, Marion
Superior Court Judge William Nelson said.
Nelson scolded Hardy for "betraying the trust" of Indiana citizens and
engaging in "reprehensible" conduct, The Indianapolis Star reported.
charged with not disclosing several meetings with Duke executives about
cost overruns at a $3.3 billion coal-gasification power plant in
Edwardsport, about 60 miles north of Evansville. Hardy also was accused of
helping the IURC's top attorney, Scott Storms, break ethics rules in
seeking a job with Duke while helping oversee the Edwardsport case.
Mitch Daniels fired Hardy as IURC chairman in 2010.
defense argued that he was charged unfairly because there were no
underlying criminal charges aside from the official misconduct charges.
that the Indiana inspector general's office found a defect in the state's
official misconduct statute in September 2010 and recommended that the
General Assembly amend the law. The General Assembly changed the law
effective July 1, 2012, to require it apply to a public servant who
"knowingly or intentionally commits an offense" in the performance of his
indicted in December 2011.
Court of Appeals denied Hardy's request to throw out the charges against
him in December, but Hardy renewed his request at the trial court level.
to comment to the judge before the ruling.