DeWine Asks for New List of Nominees to Lead PUCO

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Gov. Mike DeWine has asked the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to submit a new list of candidates to lead the agency.

“The list contained candidates who could be an appropriate addition to the PUCO. However, I would like to consider additional capable candidates before making my appointment to the vacancy,” he said in a letter.

On Dec. 21, the agency’s nominating council sent a list of four selections to the governor: former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith French; Anne Vogel, a  DeWine aide and former attorney for electric utility AEP Ohio; Angela Amos, policy adviser at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and Gregory Poulos, the executive director of a nonprofit utility group called Consumer Advocates of the PJM States.

The new list, DeWine said, may include any of the four previous nominees, as well as new applicants.

Whoever is selected will take the place of Samuel Randazzo, who resigned Nov. 20 following the FBI’s search of his home and FirstEnergy Corp. earnings report that said the utility company had paid about $4 million to end a consulting contract in early 2019 with a utility regulator matching Randazzo’s description.

The FBI, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office are investigating FirstEnergy’s role in an alleged $60 million bribery scheme to win legislative approval of a $1 billion bailout for the company’s two Ohio nuclear power plants. Then-Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder and four others were arrested in late July and subsequently indicted on racketeering charges.

Image via Doral Chenoweth/The Columbus Dispatch via AP, File

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