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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Power play over salaries begins at PSC



The Public Service Commission has begun its debate over whether to force Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy to publicly release their executive salaries with a smack down by Commissioner Nathan Skop.

Skop berated the companies for "gamesmanship ... that is unacceptable" when it refused to provide the detailed information to the commission, even in a confidential format, that showed how much each employee paid over $165,000 earned in salary and bonuses and how much they want ratepayers to pay for salaries into the future.

Instead, FPL provided the information using averages and required the PSC to go to the law offices of Rutledge Ascenia in Tallahassee to connect the dots between the names of the employees and the salaries. Progress didn't provide the so-called "key" to unscramble which employees get which salaries.

"We have a regulatory process to perform,'' Skop said. "If the commission requests something, you should file the data ... It’s a very straightforward request.''

He called it a "drain on our resources to have to go through'' today's hearing over whether to release the data. "What they've done is selectively responded, dictated what they will provide and how they will provide it, and to me that is unacceptable.''

FPL lawyer Barry Richard said they provided the commission with details about all the jobs and compensation but left out the job titles because that would allow employees to be identified and would "allow competitors to raid key employees" and raise the cost to ratepayers. He said the company opposes disclosing the information publicly because that would violate employees' right to privacy, a right embedded in the Florida Constitution.


[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 3:57pm]


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