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Lawyer Tied To Duke's Indiana Scandal Violated Ethics Laws, Panel Rules

An Indiana ethics panel has ruled that a lawyer Duke Energy lured away from that state's Utility Regulatory Commission broke three ethics laws, fined him $12,120, and barred him from working for the state again. The Indianapolis Star has the story here. Scott Storms was the Commission's top attorney and administrative law judge when he accepted a job with Duke. At the time, Duke was seeking state approval to pass on to customers construction costs of a new Indiana power plant. An excerpt from the Indianapolis Star: In a six-page ruling, the ethics commission said Storms, while general counsel and chief administrative law judge at the IURC, was negotiating for a job or "had an arrangement" concerning prospective employment with Duke as he took part in cases involving the company's Edwardsport plant and its proposed digital electrical network. In both cases, Duke was seeking state approval to pass along costs to customers. Storms did not have a vote on those matters but advised the commissioners and made procedural rulings. The panel also concluded that Storms violated state by failing to notify his supervisors of a potential conflict of interest or seeking an advisory ethics opinion.