« Sink touts her 'detailed plan' for Florida economy in new ad | Main | Meek's 'Meet the Press' trash talk »

FPL seeks to disqualify Commissioner Skop from their cases

In the continuing saga between Florida Power & Light and the Public Service Commission, the Juno Beach-based company has filed a motion today asking that Commissioner Nathan Skop remove himself from any remaining cases in which they are involved.

The motion, filed by Tallahassee attorney Barry Richard, calls Skop's comments to the news media and his comments from the bench "increasingly more hostile and adversarial.'' Skop was not reappointed to a second term after being rejected by the Public Service Nominating Council.

If Skop agrees to recuse himself, the panel will be left with four members, including PSC Chairwoman Nancy Argenziano, who was also rejected for reappointment.

The motion accuses Skop of being adversarial when he accused an FPL lawyer of "blatant disrespect" for opposing Skop's request to bring FPL CEO Armando Olivera before the commission to explain why the company provided the commission outdated data on its nuclear costs. It says that Skop "has reserved his antagonistic behavior for FPL and displayed no similar behavior with respect" to Progress Energy. FPL also objected to Skop's comments when he suggested an FPL witness may have committed perjury and when he accused the company of "spin," "misrepresentations," and "selective discourse."

Richard also cited Skop's statements late last week when he was arguing to bring Olivera before the commission and said:

"I'm a regulator, I do my job, and I've lost my job because I've chosen to do my job. So again, I'm not backing down from FPL in any way. I can back up what I state."

FPL's motion calls those comments "egregiously inappropriate for a quasi-judicial officer." It claims that he "crossed the line from impartial arbiter to zealous adversary and that his personal animosity toward FPL has risen to such a level that he utterly fails to maintain even an appearance of impartiality."

Richard told the Herald/Times that while Skop's behavior had been increasingly adversarial in the past, "the last straw for the company" came during the nuclear cost recovery hearings last week.

Skop would not comment. The nuclear cost recovery hearings will resume Sept. 7, at which time Olivera will testify under a subpoena issued by Argenziano. 

The motion may have a chilling effect on other commissioners voicing their opinions about the company's response to regulators. Skop must now decide to remain or remove himself. If he refuses to remove himself, Richard said, the company could appeal it to the First District Court of Appeals, which he expects would rule fairly quickly. Here's the motion.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I continue to be both amazed and amused by the arrogant and venal attitude of FPL. They have been successful in getting Skop off the Public Service Commission at the end of his term, but they aren't satisfied, and want him off NOW. I take this as proof Skop is one of the only, if not the only, commissioner who has the public interest in mind. FPL just can't accept that.


Finagle, Plunder and Loot is one of the most evil, greedy, corrupted and dishonest utilities in the country.

Too bad the PSC does not have to brass cohones to call a spade a spade and make this evil corporation pay for all the harm it has done to the citizens of Florida.

A Rambo Skop Fan

So, it is O.K. for FPL to show corporate audacity and contempt
in using Mike Bennett and others to do their bidding in getting PSC commissioners off of the PSC and sponsoring HB360 and other shenanigans but when others get out the heavy bats and go after
FPL they cry foul. Apparantly FPL can dish it out but they can't take
it. Go Rambo and Rambette!

The comments to this entry are closed.