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Ryder Rudd resigns amid controversy at PSC

Ryder Rudd, the Public Service Commission lobbyist who attended a Kentucky Derby party at the home of a Florida Power & Light executive resigned Tuesday and two more PSC commission aides were placed on administrative leave as the controversy surrounding the state's utility regulators continued to churn. Download Rudd Resignation

Rudd joins Larry Harris, the aide to PSC Commissioner Nancy Argenziano, in submitting a resignation amid growing allegations about potentially improper communcations between agency staff and the utilities they regulate. Harris resigned Saturday at Argenziano's request and is seeking reassignmnet within the PSC.

Also Tuesday, the staff aides to commissioners Lisa Edgar and Matthew Carter were placed on administrative leave pending a review of their decision to release their private Blackberry messaging codes to FPL, a communication method that avoids a paper trial. Download Edgar September 7 2009 Memorandum

Rudd, the PSC's director of strategic analysis who admitted to attending a Kentucky Derby party at the home of FPL vice president Ed Tancer, submitted his resignation. Rudd had been supervising the PSC's review of FPL's pipeline request. After he told two commissioners and the Herald/Times that he had attended the party, PSC commissioners removed him from any FPL issues and ordered the agency's inspector general to investigate.

Inspector general Steven Stolting found that Rudd used ``poor judgment'' and may have violated PSC rules by attending the party at Tancer's home but, since he said he paid Tancer $50 in cash the day after the party and kept no receipt, there was no way to prove whether he had or not.

Sen. Mike Fasano, a Republican from New Port Richey, urged the PSC to remove Rudd and, on Tuesday called for the state Senate to conduct an investigation.