Cal. appeals court stayed lower court ruling that would oust PUC Comr. Henry Duque from office because of financial conflict of interest. Cal. Court of Appeals for First Dist. issued stay without comment.
Lower court in April ruled Duque must be removed from office and fined $5,000 because he held stock in company regulated by PUC. Duque bought shares in wireless carrier Nextel in 1999 and sold them in 2000 at substantial profit.
Suit was brought by Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights, which said Duque made $69,000 on sale of stock he never should have owned because wireless carriers were affected by PUC policy actions even if their rates weren’t directly regulated by PUC.
Duque’s term ends Jan. 1. Appeals court will take briefs over summer, with hearing to be set later.