Wednesday, August 13, 2014

More Pro-Utility Candidates Nominated For IURC

It never fails. The only choices forwarded to Gov. Mike Pence by the IURC Nominating Commission to fill the vacancy created when Commission Chairman Jim Atterholt stepped down to become Pence's chief of staff are reliably in the back pocket of the utility companies. The three nominees are retreads from previous nominating rounds:
  • Carol Drake--She's a lawyer and, until recently, a partner at the law firm of Parr Richey Obremskey & Morton where she performed work for utility companies. One of that firm's former partners, Larry Wallace, who died this past year, served as chairman of the IURC before working as a utility lawyer at Drake's former law firm. Drake was in the news lately after her fellow partners at the firm fired her because of a real estate dispute she had with Duke Realty, a client of the law firm. She sued Duke Realty for interfering with her business relationship with the firm, a case that is still pending after a trial court summary judgment ruling in favor of Duke was reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals.
  • Robert Hartley--He's a partner at the law firm of Frost, Brown, Todd. According to his law firm bio, he has represented suppliers of electric, gas, water, sewer and telecommunication services.
  • Jim Huston--He's a career government employee who spent many years working on three different congressional staffs, including Mike Pence's staff when he was a member of Congress. He started out working for the BMV many years ago under former Gov. Bob Orr after getting a political science degree at Ball State. He currently works as Chief of Staff for the Department of Health after heading up the Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Pence's chief of staff, Jim Atterholt, a former lobbyist for AT&T, is believed to favor Huston's selection as his replacement.
Pence's two earlier picks for the IURC were both in the back pocket of the utility companies. Earlier this year, Pence named Angela Weber, a former utility lawyer for Ice Miller, and Carol Stephan, a former assistant general counsel for the IURC whose husband, IU Vice President Bill Stephan, formerly chaired the IURC nominating commission.


Anonymous said...

This will make it's way to national news and more as republicans compete wanting to be President...on national debates..Which Pence wikk not be prepared for...This party is played by supporters to play all and then loose when exposed by many on their own side...

Anonymous said...

we should adopt a program of only appointing those who know absolutely nothing about the utility industry. That should assure that we'll at least have random decisions.