A non-partisan research group reviewed several key decisions by the state’s utility regulators and concluded it meets the academic definition of being ‘captive’ to the industry it regulates. That’s not good for customers.

The watchdog over electricity rates for most Floridians has been captured by the utility industry and the result is costing consumers, according to a new report released Monday by the independent research organization Integrity Florida.

The report analyzed dozens of decisionsmade by the Florida Public Service Commission in recent years and concluded that there is an “inordinate focus on what additional money a [utility] company wants, at the expense of attention to what the public interest needs.”

“Make no mistake, what we’re talking about today is corruption. It’s legal corruption,” said Ben Wilcox, director of Integrity Florida at a news conference Monday. “It’s institutional corruption but it’s corruption nonetheless.” Story here.