How Should PUCO Commissioners Be Appointed?

Public Utilities Commission Opening

The Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel has sought reforms of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO). Reforms should include the process for appointment of commissioners. 

Currently, two of the five PUCO commissioners have worked for the utility industry that the PUCO regulates. Until the resignation of former PUCO Chair Randazzo in 2020, three of the five PUCO commissioners had worked for the utility industry. OCC's view is that no former utility representatives should be appointed to the PUCO. It is time to appoint PUCO commissioners who have worked as consumer advocates. 

CLICK HERE for the Feb. 9, 2022 letter that the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel and Ohio Poverty Law Center sent to the Governor, asking for the appointment of a consumer advocate to the PUCO.

CLICK HERE for the Feb. 3, 2022 letter that the Ohio Consumers' Counsel, Pro Seniors and the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio sent to the PUCO Nominating Council, asking for reforms of the commissioner selection process.

CLICK HERE for the Aug. 25, 2020 resolution of the OCC Governing Board, calling for reform of the process for selecting PUCO Commissioners.

CLICK HERE for a Jan. 19, 2022 Gongwer news story, reporting that Governor DeWine said he will not appoint someone to the PUCO who has "background or connections in the industry."

CLICK HERE for a Feb. 10, 2022 Ohio Capital Journal news story about the PUCO Nominating Council sending four commissioner nominations to the Governor, all of whom had ties to the utility industry.

PUCO

CLICK HERE for a Feb. 10, 2022 Cleveland Plain Dealer story about the Governor's reappointment of former utility lawyer Daniel Conway to the PUCO. 

CLICK HERE for a Feb. 16, 2022 Ohio Capital Journal news story about PUCO Commissioner (and former utility official) Lawrence Friedeman.

CLICK HERE for the Toledo Blade editorial calling for reform of the PUCO.

CLICK HERE for a list of the PUCO Nominating Council members. Until January 2022, the chairperson of the Nominating Council was Mr. Mike Koren, a former FirstEnergy lobbyist. The PUCO’s list of Nominating Council members does not contain their biographical information (despite the Council being a public agency).

CLICK HERE for the state lobbying report Mr. Koren filed to disclose working for FirstEnergy on House Bill 6.  

A photo of a person holding a sign that says Reform Now

CLICK HERE for the expired Dec. 12, 2021 commissioner job ad by the PUCO Nominating Council, which also describes qualifications.

CLICK HERE for the contact information to use for submitting public comments to the PUCO Nominating Council. Ohio Revised Code 4901.021(E) states that “the council may accept comments from … any person.” Send comments to Angela Hawkins at PUCNominatingCouncil@puco.ohio.gov