Gov Kasich Appointment to PUCO Steps Down After Senate Rejection

Howard Petricoff

In June of this year, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (a Republican) appointed veteran energy industry lawyer Howard Petricoff (a Democrat) to the Public Utility Commission of Ohio (PUCO). Petricoff was the retired head of the energy practice at Vorys, the largest law firm in Columbus, OH. He is the only Democrat of the 5-member PUCO, a move heralded as “bi-partisan.” However, it didn’t take long for OH Senate Republicans to pitch some stones Petricoff’s way, questioning whether he could truly be effective given “conflicts of interest” in representing certain clients in the past with cases that are before the Commission, and also alleging “past activism.” We’re not sure exactly what kind of activism was alleged, but last Thursday the Republicans on the Senate Public Utilities Committee passed a resolution recommending the full Senate reject Petricoff. Without their support, his permanent appointment is dead. So Petricoff resigned and is now gone…

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