FPL linked to biz group’s demand for investigation of utility regulator Argenzianoby Dara Kam | October 16th, 2009
Associated Industries of Florida sent a press release demanding an investigation of Public Service Commissioner Nancy Argenziano to Florida Power & Light Co. for review yesterday, officials for both groups said.
A version of the release posted on The Sayfie Review shows the author of the release as “FPL_User” last saved by “Lisa Garcia” and the company as “Florida Power & Light.”
Lisa Garcia works for Ron Sachs Communications, the Tallahassee-based PR agency handling media for AIF on the issue.
AIF has joined FPL in support of its requested $1.3 billion base rate hike.
FPL is a member of the business backed association that refuses to reveal its membership or how much they pay to belong to the group.
The latest bit of drama in the FPL/Argenziano/PSC serial unfolds as the regulatory panel is scheduled to vote on the Juno Beach-based utility proposed $200 million rate increase to cover the costs of nuclear plants not yet built.
Sachs executive Alia Faraj, a former spokeswoman for Gov. Jeb Bush, said that her shop crafted the press release and gave it to FPL.
FPL spokesman Mark Bubriski said Faraj sent the release to him “as a courtesy” before releasing it and that he “fixed a typo” on it.
Bishop put thousands of PSC regulators’ and their chief aides’ BlackBerry PIN messages on AIF’s website yesterday to illustrate his complaint against Argenziano.
He accuses her of showing bias against FPL and conduct unbecoming a commissioner and said he may file an ethics complaint against Argenziano, already slapped with two other complaints.
Argenziano, a former state senator appointed to the PSC by Gov. Charlie Crist in 2007, is convinced FPL and AIF are out to get her and are trying to intimidate her. She is slated to become chairwoman of the PSC next year.
She says they want her off the panel because she’s publicly questioned potential conflict of interests between the PSC and the utilities it regulates and asked a state attorney to investigate the matter.
Leon County State Attorney Willie Meggs said recently his investigators have not found any evidence of wrongdoing at the agency.