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The five-member PUCO, appointed by the governor, regulates telecommunications, natural gas and electricity utilities in Ohio.

ExploreFirstEnergy paid $4M to end a contract with an Ohio regulator, filing says

A PUCO spokesman could not be reached for comment.

“There’s a reasonable perception that a $4 million payout would raise doubts about Chairman Randazzo’s impartiality in cases before the commission involving FirstEnergy,” said Rob Kelter, senior attorney at ELPC. “The public has a right to fair decisions regarding monopoly rates and services. That fairness requires a commission’s decision process without any undue influence from the utilities it regulates.”

The motion applies to the three cases in which the Environmental Law & Policy Center was a party but could be broadly applied to all FirstEnergy cases that Randazzo participated in, Kelter said.

Likewise, Kelter said the PUCO should compel FirstEnergy to produce the consulting contract related to the $4 million payment and the corporation’s internal review findings.

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