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Crist Casts Out PSC Commissioner

October 1st, 2009 by flanews

Governor Charlie Crist is cleaning house at the state Public Service Commission.

Chairman Matt Carter and Commissioner Katrina McMurrian were not reappointed today. They were passed over after reports regulators and their staff were too cozy with utility executives. An aide to Carter had more than one hundred phone conversations with FPL lobbyists while McMurrian had dinner with their Chief Financial Officer. Chairman Carter says he never engaged in any unethical behavior and signaled that the decision to replace him was political.

Carter: Let me just say this, I feel like there are some things that were not factual that was out, and Ill just leave it like that. I try to accentuate the positive and this to will pass.

Reporter: were you a victim of circumstance since your appointment came up at a time when there was a lot of scandal surrounding the PSC.

Carter: Well it was fairly obvious that it was. You know these things happen. Its a political season, political things happen during the political season.

Commissioner McMurrian was tightlipped about being replaced.

Reporter: Where you shocked by this decision?

McMurrian: Not entirely.

Reporter: Because of the controversies?

McMurrian: Im sure that was some sort of a factor. I dont know how much that weighed into it. I think the governor probably looked at the applications. He spoke to people. Hes had a chance to get to know some of us to varying degrees and he made the decision he thought was best.

Steve Stewart filed a motion to recuse McMurrian from the Florida Power and Light rate hearings after finding out McMurrian at dinner in New York with a FP&L Executive.

The biggest message that it sends is there needs to be some change in the way theyre doing business and you know in the past this has been an issue and it hasnt been addressed, but hopefully over the next few months with a new chairman at the commission next year, these things will get addressed, and well have some policies that will once again promote credibility and impartiality of the commission, said Stewart.

Governor Charlie Crist appointed David Klement of Bradenton and Steve Stevens of Pensacola to replace Chairman Matthew Carter and Commissioner Katrina McMurrian.

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