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10/02/2014 Contact: 850-413-6482

PSC Considering Customer Advocate for General Counsel Role

TALLAHASSEE — Florida Public Service Commission Chairman Art Graham today proposed hiring a longtime consumer attorney as the PSC’s interim General Counsel, serving as the Commission’s chief legal officer. 

Charlie Beck was a key figure in the Office of Public Counsel for 27 years, serving as Deputy Public Counsel and Interim Public Counsel before retiring in 2011.  The OPC was created by the legislature as an independent advocate for consumers in matters that come before the Public Service Commission.

Beck would be coming out of retirement to help the PSC work on one of its top priorities, Graham noted.

“At this moment in the PSC’s history the public is looking for some reassurance that we’re committed to the consumer’s interest – Charlie Beck has outstanding credentials in that regard,” Graham explained.  “He is highly regarded as an accomplished and principled individual who is very assertive on behalf of utility customers, while still earning the respect of opposing counsel.”

“He’s the right person, in the right place, at the right time,” Graham said.

Before his career at OPC, Beck was in private practice, and earlier was in the U.S. Naval Legal Service, heading the prosecution and defense sections for courts-martial cases.

Graham made the recommendation to hire Beck in a PSC Internal Affairs meeting this morning, and the Commission is expected to discuss it on October 22.  The General Counsel position will become vacant when current General Counsel Curt Kiser retires at the end of the year.

“Curt Kiser has devoted himself to serving Florida for four decades, and has been a valued leader at the PSC for the past five years,” Graham said.  “He certainly will be missed.”

Fact Summary:

• Twenty-seven years experience representing consumers in cases before the PSC, serving as Deputy Public Counsel and interim Public Counsel

• Represented the Office of Public Counsel in customer meetings, federal agency proceedings, and the Florida Supreme Court

• J.D. with honors, University of Florida College of Law, 1976

• Commander, JAGC, United States naval Reserve, retired

• Married with two grown children

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