INDIANAPOLIS – Attorney General Greg Zoeller is seeking to reinstate criminal charges against a former state utility regulator.
Zoeller, who represents the state in criminal appeals, has challenged a Marion County trial court’s order dismissing the charges against David Lott Hardy last month.
Hardy, of Fort Wayne, was charged with several felony counts of official misconduct in December 2011.
The indictments alleged that Hardy, former head of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, allowed the panel’s top lawyer to keep overseeing cases involving Duke Energy even though he knew the attorney was trying to land a job at the utility company.
Former Gov. Mitch Daniels fired Hardy in October 2010 but said he didn’t think anything Hardy did was criminal.
Hardy stood trial Aug. 12, but Marion Superior Court Judge William Nelson dismissed the charges before the case went to deliberations. Nelson found that Hardy could not be charged with official misconduct because there were no underlying criminal accusation that the misconduct charges were based on.
The General Assembly had modified the law effective July 1, 2012, and the judge said that action to clarify the law showed the legislature’s intent to apply the change retroactively.
But Zoeller said if the legislature intended to make a 2012 change in the law retroactive as the trial court ruled, it would have written that into the statute, and it did not.
He further asked that Hardy face charges under the law that was in effect in 2010.
A news release from Zoeller’s office said it is common for a prosecutor who has had a case dismissed to request that the attorney general take an appeal to have the charges reinstated.
The appeal will be heard by the Indiana Court of Appeals, where both sides will have the opportunity to file legal briefs and the court might hear oral arguments.