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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Fasano says he will work to help public advocate win reappointment



State Sen. Mike Fasano told the state’s consumer advocate in utility cases, JR. Kelly, today that he has his “full support’’ and offered to work to help him seek reappointment to the job as public counsel, even as the Florida House and Senate leaders announced that they are seeking new applicants.

“I have been most impressed with the efforts you and your fine staff have put into representing the utility customers of Florida,'' Fasano wrote to Kelly on Tuesday. "I believe you have been and fully expect you will continue to put the needs of consumers first."

Kelly, who was appointed by the legislature to the Office of Public Counsel in November 2007, is up for reconfirmation, as is required by law every two years. But, in the midst of Kelly’s opposition to rate case request by Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy, legislative leaders opened up the job for new applications.

The chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Public Counsel Oversight, Sen. Lee Constantine, R-Orlando, said the decision to seek new applications was not a reflection on Kelly but an attempt by lawmakers “to do it right.” The Office of Public Counsel is an arm of the Legislature, and state law requires lawmakers to reconfirm its head every two years. It does not require that new applications be sought at that time. 


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:14pm]


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