Sam Randazzo Resigned
Governor Mike DeWine is preparing to choose a new PUCO Commissioner, and Ohioans
It is time to bring a new perspective to the PUCO. We need an individual who puts a focus on protecting the consumer rather than protecting the profits of Ohio utilities. The new PUCO Commissioner should be dedicated to increasing equity, fairness, and access to services at the community level at a time when corruption has been winning the day in Ohio.
Ohioans are demanding a commissioner:
- With a history of integrity without the risk of even the appearance of impropriety
- With a history of working within the community and embracing justice
- With a plan to demand transparency from regulated utilities
- With an understanding of energy trends and clean energy development opportunities
- With no current or previous connections to regulated utilities
- With no background of lobbying for or having financial ties to utility companies
Ohioans deserve better than what we got with Sam Randazzo. We deserve an energy policy that is not clouded by corruption and lies. We deserve a PUCO Chairman that is free from current or past ties to regulated utilities. And we will be watching
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Nominating Council has sent Governor DeWine the names of the final four recommendations to replace Sam Randazzo on the PUCO. The Governor now has a choice before him: continue to stack the Commission with those tied to utility companies or provide a fresh start for the PUCO.
Prior to working as a policy director for Governor DeWine on energy issues, Anne Vogel spent 12 years lobbying for American Electric Power and according to her July 2020 Ohio Ethics Commission Financial Disclosure Statement, currently holds nearly $100,000 in AEP stock and an undisclosed amount of stock in FirstEnergy Corporation. Do we really need a PUCO Commissioner with a financial interest in more than one regulated Ohio utility?
The Governor should consider it his ethical obligation to select a candidate with a history of integrity, a plan to demand transparency from regulated utilities, and most importantly, the new PUCO Commissioner must have no current or prior connections to Ohio’s regulated utilities, including employment, financial ties or a lobbying history.
We deserve an energy policy that is not clouded by corruption and lies. Ohioans are watching you, Governor DeWine—choose wisely this time!
- Sam Randazzo’s company was on FirstEnergy Solution’s payroll. He owns a company called Sustainability Funding Alliance of Ohio which turned up in First Energy Solutions’ bankruptcy filings as a company used by them for professional services.
- Former Speaker Larry Householder, now indicted in a $61 million bribery scandal involving FirstEnergy, put Sam Randazzo’s long-time business partner on the PUCO Nominating Council just before Randazzo was nominated. Then, Randazzo gave his business partner a job at the PUCO.
- The chair of the PUCO Nominating Council who nominated Randazzo, Michael Koren, was a FirstEnergy and Boich Companies lobbyist.
Until his appointment by Governor Mike DeWine, Randazzo was an anti-clean energy lobbyist and lawyer fighting to destroy renewable energy in Ohio.
Why is he standing in the way of Ohio’s clean energy future? Could it be his FirstEnergy or Householder connections? Where there’s smoke there’s fire. And here is what he’s done so far:
- Effectively killed Ohio’s first offshore wind energy project that would have brought 500 good jobs, $253 Million in investment, and clean air to Ohioans, despite the fact that all of his staff’s technical experts supported approval of the project.
- Inexplicably delayed approval of large-scale solar projects, again, when even his own staff supported approval.
- Attacked the ability of Ohio’s utilities to save customers money and create jobs through voluntary programs to reduce energy waste.