The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) wrote Attorney General Bill Lockyer to urge that he seek the removal from office of California Public Utilities Commissioner Henry Duque, who violated section 303(a) of the Public Utilities Code.
Section 303(a) states, “A public utilities commissioner may not hold an official relation to nor have a financial interest in a person or corporation subject to regulation by the commission.” Mr. Duque has invested nearly $10,000 in Nextel Communications, a cellular phone firm which is regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. Duque’s Nextel stock, purchased in May 1999, is now worth about $14,400.
“Particularly given the electricity rate and supply crisis now gripping the state, it is imperative that California’s utility regulators follow the letter of the law if the public is to feel protected,” wrote Jamie Court, FTCR’s executive director. “Mr. Duque violated Section 303(a) and broke the public trust. The vicissitudes of the current deregulated market demand that the conduct of all Public Utilities Commissioners be beyond reproach.”