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Whistleblower alleges PSC commissioner violates conflict laws

In the age of journalism layoffs, we're happy to see when someone else picks up the investigatory cudgel. Here self-described Public Service Commission investigator Steve Stewart reports that PSC Commissioner Katrina McMurrian has repeatedly raised conflict of interest questions with her attendance at both utility-sponsored events and private dinners. Both events were closed to the public and officials from the utility companies she regulates were in attendance. Take a look.

We can't vouch for the balance of the report -- there is no obvious response from McMurrian -- but it's clear Stewart has solid documents and his timeline raises serious questions about McMurrian's judgment that the commissioner should answer. 

Not to be confused with journalists -- most of whom at least try to be dispassionate observers -- Stewart has some strong views: “These commissioners sit as judges and are regulated by laws that prohibit this kind of communication,'' he wrote in his press release. "With over $1.3 billion being requested by FP&L and Progress Energy, it is unbelievable that a commissioner would attend such meetings.”