Utility regulators Julie Brown and Gary Clark are seeking reappointment to the Florida Public Service Commission, as candidates face a Tuesday deadline to apply for two seats on the panel.
Brown and Clark were among 11 people [now 14, see bottom of post] who had submitted applications as of early Monday afternoon for the $132,036-a-year positions on the five-member commission, which regulates utilities such as Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy Florida, Gulf Power and Tampa Electric Co.
The deadline to submit applications to a state nominating council is 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The nominating council, chaired by Sen. Kelli Stargel, a Lakeland Republican, is expected to come up with a list of “most qualified” applicants on June 26 in Orlando.
After interviews, the council will eventually offer a short list of recommendations from which Gov. Rick Scott will make appointments to the two seats.
Brown and Clark currently hold the seats, but their terms expire Jan. 1. Scott will make appointments to four-year terms. Brown, an attorney from Tampa, has served on the Public Service Commission since January 2011. Scott reappointed her in 2014.
“It has truly been the highlight of my career serving the state of Florida as a Public Service Commissioner, and I would be honored to have the opportunity to continue serving for an additional term as we face new challenges in the utility industry ahead,” Brown wrote as part of her application for reappointment.
Clark was appointed to his seat in September to complete the term of Jimmy Patronis, who was named by Scott to serve as Florida chief financial officer.
Clark, previously a deputy secretary at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, in his application called the Public Service Commission appointment “the pinnacle of my career.”
Earlier this year, Clark applied for a different seat on the commission that became open when former Rep. Ritch Workman, a Melbourne Republican, withdrew after being appointed by Scott.
Workman, who had not begun serving on the commission, withdrew after Senate Rules Chairwoman Lizbeth Benacquisto, a Fort Myers Republican, accused him of sexual harassment. Benacquisto said she would not hold a confirmation hearing for Workman, who said he did not recall any impropriety.
Clark’s effort to change seats would have given him a longer term. But Scott selected Andrew Fay, who was a chief deputy in the state attorney general’s office, to replace Workman. Fay’s term expires Jan. 1, 2022.
Others who had applied as of Monday afternoon for the two open seats are:
— Cynthia Wilson Orndoff, a professor of construction management at Everglades University in Sarasota who made the nominating council’s short list for the commission in 2016. At that time, Scott selected Donald Polmann, a Dunedin engineer who was a longtime official with Tampa Bay Water, to serve on the commission.
— Anibal Taboas, an appointee to the Governors State University Board of Trustees from Woodridge, Ill. who was interviewed for the commission last year.
— Steven Petty, a former chief economist for Florida TaxWatch who applied for a spot on the commission last year but failed to get an invitation to the interview process.
— Amir Liberman, the owner of Consulting.Net, Inc. in Fort Lauderdale.
— Terry Dilligard, a former service technician with AT&T from DeLand.
— Robert R. Bennett, former chairman of United States Green Energy Corp. from Pensacola.
— Monica E. Rutkowski, an insurance regulatory compliance consultant from Tallahassee who previously was a vice president of compliance and regulatory affairs for Guy Carpenter and the SmithGroup.
— Vanessa Hall, a chief administrative law judge with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C.
— Alton Drew, an attorney from Atlanta who was a staff member at the Florida Public Service Commission for all but a short time between November 1989 and February 1998.
Updated Tuesday – One more applicant filed before today’s 5 p.m. deadline: Mark C. Nading, a self-described firearms expert from Pembroke Pines.
Updated Wednesday – The final applicants by deadline include Rachael Vinita Favors, a former manager for the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council, and Gregory Hill, an assistant general counsel with the Department of Corrections.
Capital correspondent Jim Rosica contributed to this post.