The Florida Public Service Commission Nominating Council has submitted its final candidates to Governor Ron DeSantis to determine who will fill a vacant seat on the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC).
On Monday, the council narrowed the field down to four after interviewing the five remaining applicants vying to replace longtime Commissioner Julie Brown on the state PSC. The seat was left open after Brown was selected by DeSantis in February to lead the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR).
The council, chaired by State Representative Chuck Clemons, heard presentations from the interviewees and asked follow-up questions before voting on who would move forward in the process. Only one candidate, Jeanne Curtin, an attorney and former deputy general counsel of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, didn’t receive a majority vote (7) by the council to be nominated.
Among the final applicants was State Representative Scott Plakon. The Republican legislator, who represents House District 29, is term-limited in 2022. Plakon was joined by three other finalists including Rosanna Flury, president of Rocketship Consultants, Ana Ortega, a chief policy adviser at the PSC, and Gabriella Passidomo, a PSC attorney who is also a daughter of State Senator Kathleen Passidomo.
State Senator Jim Boyd and other lawmakers on the council noted that the slate of applicants was heavily qualified to fill the void left by Brown.
“All of these applicants, their resumes are quite impressive. It makes me feel a little bit inadequate, to be honest with you,” Boyd quipped during the nominating process.
The final four will now head to DeSantis who will have the final say on who fills the vacancy at PSC. The chosen candidate will serve on the five-member state board and will be tasked with working with consumers and advocates to implement safe, cost-effective services — electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater — to all Floridians.
The seat on the PSC board pays $132,000 per year and is based in Tallahassee.
The last appointment to the commission was August of last year when the Governor tapped former Republican State Representative Mike La Rosa.