Fort Wayne native David Lott Hardy lost his bid this week to have a judge dismiss felony charges against him.
He was chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission when Gov. Mitch Daniels fired him in October 2010.
The charges are fallout from the departure of the commission’s general counsel, Scott Storms, who accepted employment with Duke Energy of Indiana in September 2010. Storms was general counsel for the commission and was an administrative law judge on several key Duke cases.
A grand jury indicted Hardy on three counts of felony official misconduct in December, each carrying up to three years in prison.
Marion County Judge James Osborn ruled Monday that Hardy’s charges will stand. His trial is scheduled for Oct. 10.
Hardy’s attorneys had argued the actions involve administrative violations – not criminal.
Hardy, 68, had been chairman of the commission since 2005.
A written statement from Daniels’ office at the time of Hardy’s firing said an internal review found that Storms was communicating with Duke regarding a position with the company at a time he was presiding over administrative hearings concerning Duke. Additionally, it said Hardy was aware of the communications and did not remove Storms from the Duke matters.
State law restricts private communication between regulators and company officials on cases pending before the utility commission.
Before the commission job, Hardy worked out of his Fort Wayne home providing legal or consulting help on utility issues and has expertise in negotiation, contracts, litigation, finance and administration.
He was born in Bluffton and grew up in Geneva.