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Lopez-Cantera joins AIF demand for utility reg investigation

by Dara Kam | October 15th, 2009

State Rep. Carlos Lopez-Cantera joined the call for an internal investigation into BlackBerry messages sent by utility regulators.

Lopez-Cantera, R-Miami, serves on the Public Service Commission Nominating Council that selects who gets to serve on the regulatory panel. The governor makes the final picks.

“The PIN messages sent and received by Commissioner Nancy Argenziano and released by the PSC, coupled with their discussion of private emails so far unreleased and sent to non-public accounts in an attempt to evade public scrutiny, raise serious questions about Commissioner Argenziano’s impartiality and her ability to give a fair hearing to those appearing before her,” Lopez-Cantera wrote in a statement distributed to the media.

Earlier today, Associated Industries of Florida President Barney Bishop demanded the PSC’s inspector general check out Commissioner Nancy Argenziano’s BlackBerry PIN messages.

Bishop said Argenziano may have broken rules restricting communications between the regulators and the utilities and may have acted in a manner unbecoming a commissioner, a violation of her oath of office.

It’s no surprise that Lopez-Cantera has jumped on the Argeziano attack wagon.

Earlier this summer, the two exchanged heated letters over the legislature’s role in the PSC and over Argenziano’s insistence that Florida Power & Light Co. reveal the salaries of its highest-paid executives for all to see.

Now Lopez-Cantera has another commissioner in his sights: Lisa Edgar, reappointed to the panel last year by Gov. Charlie Crist.

Edgar’s PINs are among the thousands given to reporters through public records requests which AIF has posted on its website.

Edgar told The Miami Herald earlier this summer that she does not use the device to send the secret messages.

“Also unsettling is for Commissioner Lisa Edgar to tell the Miami Herald ‘I don’t PIN, it’s just not something I do’ only to find numerous PIN’s from her appearing in newly released records. Her statements deserve serious questioning as well,” Lopez-Cantera said.

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