COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio Senate panel has rejected the governor's pick for a seat on the state's utility regulatory board.
The rejection Thursday of Democratic energy attorney Howard Petricoff for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio drew swift criticism from fellow Democrats.
Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik), a Republican, selected Petricoff in July to meet a requirement preventing more than three commissioners from the same party.
State Rep. David Leland (LEE'-luhnd), a former state Democratic chairman, said the appointment process must be changed.
Leland said Petricoff was qualified and experienced and would have provided "diversity in philosophy" as the commission regulates electric, gas and other utilities.
GOP Senate President Keith Faber (FAY'-bur) called the hearing on Petricoff after raising concerns about potential conflicts of interest with his past legal work for energy clients.