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Ex-U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez joins Progress Energy board of directors

by Dara Kam | March 4th, 2010

Former U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, who left office last year before finishing out his first term, has joined the board of directors of the state’s second largest utility.

Martinez, 63, was elected to Raleigh, N.C.-based Progress Energy’s board earlier this month.

Progress Energy operates Progress Energy Florida, which provides power to nearly 2 million customers in the Tampa Bay area. State utility regulators recently turned down the utility’s $500 million rate hike request.

Not a bad part-time gig for Martinez. The annual pay for outside directors like him is $80,000 including $30,000 towards a deferred compensation plan, according to the company’s federal SEC filings.

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate in 2005, Martinez was the mayor of Orange County and was on the Orlando Utilities Commission. He’s been lobbying as a partner with the law firm DLA Piper since leaving office last year.

Martinez’s early retirement set off a political cascade in Florida and paved the way for Gov. Charlie Crist to take his place.

Crist appointed his own former chief of staff George LeMieux as a place-holder to fill in for Martinez until the November election. Crist is running in a GOP primary for the seat against former House Speaker Marco Rubio.

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6 Responses to “Ex-U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez joins Progress Energy board of directors”

  1. Gordon Solie Says:

    Just another crooked Lobbyist trying to screw the citizens of the State of Florida. At least now he can do it behind closed doors. Pathetic.

  2. Paul Says:

    Another politician who retires from elected official to lobbyist.

    Martinez and Wexler

  3. Retired PoliCROOKS Says:

    Hopefully between now and November elections we can get some more of these corrupt pollies away from the public trough and on private corruption revenue. The problem is they still draw their same salary even after they are gone. I guess the only thing we have to be glad of is they no longer have those big expense accounts of public money to waste.

  4. LicensedToSteal Says:

    His job will be to corrupt Florida politicians in forcing the PSC to pass anything FPL and Progress Energy want. A fine move by Progress Florida. They’re motto is, “We corrupt them first and then we hire them”.

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