Energy Biz Outsider Picked to Sit on CPUC

By Published On: February 16, 2007

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on February 15 picked Timothy Simon – new to the electricity sector – to fill the post previously held by California Public Utilities Commission member Geoffrey Brown. Like his fellow commissioner John Bohn, Simon has considerable experience in the financial sector. “Timothy’s background in business and financial services and regulatory law will be fantastic assets to the Public Utilities Commission to continue seeking affordable, reliable and more environmentally-friendly energy supply,” the governor stated. While the regulatory body is constitutionally separated from the state’s executive office, there remain connections. Simon, a lawyer, has served as Schwarzenegger’s appointment secretary since January 2006. Also working in the governor’s office is former CPUC member Susan Kennedy, who is Schwarzenegger’s chief of staff. “His strong background in financial markets should usher in even more support for market-based solutions to the many problems facing our industry in California,” said Gary Ackerman, Western Power Trading Forum executive director. Simon, a Republican, is the third African American to serve on the CPUC – the first being Leonard Grimes, followed by Jessie Knight. Before working in the governor’s office, Simon was general counsel and chief compliance officer with Global Crown Capital. He also worked for an on-line financial securities and futures brokerage, as well as Barclays Global Investors and Wells Fargo Bank. Simon’s appointment must be confirmed by the Senate Rules Committee, headed by Senate president pro tem Don Perata (D-Oakland), within 12 months in order for him to serve a five-year term. “The governor wouldn’t pick someone who couldn’t make it through rules,” said Steven Kelly, Independent Energy Producers policy director. Circuit was unable to reach Simon before press time. – Elizabeth McCarthy

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