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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Fasano to PSC's Edgar: Resign. Now.



Sen. Mike Fasano, the lone Senator to vote against Lisa Edgar's reappointment to the PSC this past spring, is calling for her to follow the lead of fellow PSC commissioner Lisa McMurrian and resign. He sent Edgar a letter asking her to "do the honorable thing" and get out.

"She needs to put the consumers and the Public Service Commission first; she is definitely not serving the public by staying," Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said this afternoon. "McMurrian doing what she did by resigning, that's a perfect reason why Lisa Edgar should follow her lead and resign."

He said that will leave a "fresh slate" of the two newly appointed commissioners, plus Nathan Skopp and Nancy Argenziano who have served only since 2007. 

Fasano has been a vocal opponent of Edgar's serving on the PSC since this past spring, when he voted against her in committee and on the Senate floor. He accused her of siding with industry and utility profits and ignoring the needs of consumers, citing as an example a TECO case in which Edgar okayed a higher rate of return than what PSC staff recommended.

"I had concerns back then and if many of my colleagues knew what they know now, I don't think she would have been reconfirmed," Fasano said. There is just a lack of leadership on that Public Service Commission. She is the senior member. She has a staff person who is now being suspended with pay -- that's a vacation in my book. And so she needs to go."

Read his letter here:

October 5, 2009
The Honorable Lisa Edgar
Florida Public Service Commission
2540 Shumard Oak Boulevard
Tallahassee, FL  32399-0850
Dear Commissioner Edgar:
With Commissioner McMurrian’s decision to resign prior to the expiration of her term I believe the governor’s desire to clean house at the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) has begun in earnest.  Based upon the fact that there continues to be ongoing investigations into activities of individual commissioners and staff by the Attorney General and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the integrity of the PSC has been sullied.  As you  know I have asked the Senate president to authorize the Senate Ethics & Elections Committee to hold a hearing to look into these activities as well.
As a sitting commissioner who has been privy to the ongoing day-to-day operations of the PSC, you know better than anyone that the PSC lacks leadership in this time of turmoil and crisis.  With the governor’s appointment of two new commissioners he has sent a clear signal that the time has come for a top-down rebuilding of the PSC.
I was a vocal opponent of your reappointment to the PSC and believe that time and subsequent events have only bolstered the reasons why I opposed your continued service on the Commission.  I respectfully request that you follow Commissioner McMurrian’s lead and resign your seat as well.  The PSC and its mission is far more important than any single individual’s continued employment.
To truly bring change to the PSC the time has come for you to do the honorable thing and allow the governor to continue the process he has begun; to return the term “public service” to the Florida Public Service Commission.
Yours truly,

Mike Fasano
State Senator, District 112

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 2:21pm]


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