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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sen. President Jeff Atwater says nephew hired by FPL on his own accord

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June

To get a sense of the reach of Florida Power & Light, consider Brady Atwater, the 26-year-old nephew of Senate President Jeff Atwater. He was hired last year by the state's largest electric company in a tight recession to work in the one department closest to the Legislature - regulatory affairs.

FPL spokesman Mayco Villafana said Atwater's nephew got the job as a regulatory specialist on his own and it had nothing to do with his uncle. The Senate president said his nephew "never even asked me for a recommendation" and he heard his nephew had gotten the job during a family dinner last year.

"As soon as he said it, my heart sank as I realized somehwere, someway, someone is
going to say I called and gave him a job,'' Sen. Atwater told the Herald/Times. "I smiled and nodded and wished him well.''

He said he had nothing to do with his nephew getting the job. "I have no idea what his role is and
have no idea if he's still there."  Villafana said he didn't know who hired him or why he was chosen for that division. But Brady Atwater did work on the giant FPL rate case last year - doing the clerking duties newbies get, such as carrying boxes into the hearing room.

Today, the Public Service Commission nominating council, six of whom were appointed by Atwater, will decide on which six candidates to send to the governor for appointment to the two open seats created when the Senate failed to confirm the governor's first two picks. Stay tuned for updates here.

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[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:41am]

    

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