Panel OKs PSC official’s reappointment
By DARA KAM/Palm Beach Post Capital Bureau
TALLAHASSEE — A Senate committee approved the reappointment of Public Service Commissioner Lisa Edgar over the objections of a powerful GOP senator whose constituents, he said, were hurt by her votes.
Edgar chairs the PSC, which regulates utilities. She was reappointed by Gov. Charlie Crist. The Senate must sign off on her reappointment.
In a lengthy Q-and-A session before the Senate Communications, Energy and Public Utilities Committee Monday, State Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, questioned Edgar about going against a staff recommendation of a 10.75 rate increase for TECO, the Tampa utility.
Fasano said Edgar instead led the charge to hike the recommendation to 11.25 percent, costing Tampa utility consumers about $14.5 million a year.
Fasano asked Edgar to give her rationale. But the lawyer refused to answer, saying that her statements during the PSC meeting were a matter of public record and she could not comment on the issue because it was still under consideration.
"The commissioner in my opinion is not consumer-friendly," Fasano said.
The committee voted 7-1 in favor of Edgar’s reappointment.
Edgar’s reappointment goes before the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee today.