Term-limited Rep. Jimmy Patronis among PSC finalists

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A nominating panel Thursday sent the names of seven finalists to Gov. Rick Scott to fill two vacancies on the board which regulates electrical and water rates. The terms of Public Service Commissioners Eduardo Balbis and Julie Brown expire in January. The PSC nominating council picked seven candidates familiar with the interplay between lawmakers and commissioners in regulating Florida utilities.

Rep. Jimmy Patronis and former Rep. Dave Murzin are among the seven candidates selected from a pool of 32 applicants, as is Commissioner Brown.

Patronis, who is term-limited out of office in November, in his application lists his employment experience as a partner in Panama City’s Capt. Anderson’s Restaurant. Murzin’s only employment experience listed is that as Chief Legislative Assistant to Sen. Greg Evers.

Brown was originally appointed to the five member PSC commission by former Gov. Charlie Crist and reappointed to a four-year term by Gov. Rick Scott. An experienced regulatory and administrative law attorney she is seeking a third term and is included among the seven names sent to Scott.

 The other four finalists are; Stuart Wayne Pollins, a policy analyst for Gov. Scott; Kevin LeRoy Wiehle, an analyst for the Senate Committee on Energy and Public Utilities;  Patrick John Sheehan, director of the Office of Energy at the Department of Agriculture and Gerardo B. Fernandez  a consultant with degrees in electrical engineering and business administration.

Scott will select two of the finalists whose appointments must be confirmed by the Florida Senate.

Commissioners are paid $131,036 annually.