Should utility regulator vote on FPL rate hike?by Dara Kam | September 14th, 2009
An opponent of Florida Power & Light Co.’s proposed $1.3 billion rate hike wants a utility regulator who attended a conference in New York and had a steak dinner with an FPL executive disqualified from the case.
Public Service Commissioner Katrina McMurrian should recuse herself because, at a minimum, the events leave the impression that she won’t be impartial, according to a motion filed this morning by Stephen Stewart for Sarasota citizen Richard Unger, an intervenor in FPL’s rate case.
McMurrian, appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush to the panel in 2006, was a panelist at a Standard & Poors conference in New York in March that dealt with credit issues and their effect on the power industry. The night before the conference, McMurrian had dinner with, among others, FPL Treasurer Paul Cutler.
That leaves the impression that McMurrian won’t be impartial, Stewart said in the motion.
The hearing is scheduled to resume on Wednesday.
State law requires that commissioners “must avoid impropriety in all of his or her activities and must act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the commission.”
McMurrian, whose term ends in January, is up for reappointment by Gov. Charlie Crist.
Crist earlier this morning threatened not to reappoint commissioners who vote for the rate hike. PSC Chairman Matthew Carter is also up for reappointment.