Could You Be Paying Too Much On Your Utility Bills?

By John W. Davis

October 7, 2010 Updated Oct 7, 2010 at 10:13 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - Democratic state leaders are asking for a deeper investigation after the Chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission was fired on Tuesday.

Indiana House Speaker Patrick Bauer and State Representative Win Moses pointed out what they call major flaws in the current system.

Specifically, they are questioning the ethics of all utility rate hikes over the past few years.

Bauer and Moses said every rate increase under former Chairman David Hardy should be thoroughly reviewed and questioned.

Hardy was fired Tuesday after Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels discovered Hardy knew that one of his top IURC employees was working on a rate case for Duke Energy, while in contract negotiations for a new higher paying job for himself at Duke Energy.

Meanwhile, Indiana's NewsCenter sat down with Bauer and Moses Thursday.

Bauer said Moses was a utility expert because he serves as the Commerce, Energy, Technology, & Utilities Committee Chairman for the Indiana House of Representatives.

Moses said all Hoosiers deserve better answers.

"This is the beginning. We are now going to look at possible additional investigations," said Democratic State Representative Win Moses.

The Ethics committee is appointed by the Governor. The IURC (Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission) is appointed by the Governor. He wants to have his special Inspector General, which is kind of a personal prosecutor investigate this. That's probably not open enough," said Moses.

Indiana House Speaker Bauer said Indiana State Representatives and Indiana State Senators can't lobby their legislative colleagues for one year after they leave elected office.

Bauer said that same rule should apply to every Indiana branch of government, including civilian workers at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

Meanwhile, Win Moses pointed out that in his opinion, too many former energy executives are now state energy regulators.

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