Gov. Scott names Bondi deputy as Florida utilities regulator

Andrew Fay, a chief deputy to Attorney General Pam Bondi, was named Friday by Gov. Rick Scott to the state’s utility regulatory board.

Scott chose Fay from among four finalists for a seat on the Florida Public Service Commission. Former state lawmaker Ritch Workman had been appointed to start serving in the post last month but withdrew in December because of a sexual-harassment allegation.

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Fay, who has been with Bondi since she took office in 2011, serves as director of legislative affairs and Cabinet affairs. He joined Bondi’s office a year after graduating from the Florida State University College of Law, where he was editor in chief of the Florida State University Business Review.

During his appearance last week before the Public Service Commission Nominating Council, Fay said working on issues involving the Cabinet — which is made up of Bondi, Scott, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis — has similarities with the Public Service Commission.

“We worked directly on the Power Plant Siting Act in my role with the Cabinet,” Fay told the nominating council. “That taught me a lot. It allowed me to engage in that area in a way that I hadn’t done before.”

Asked if he had memorized all Florida statutes, Fay replied, “It’s true, I’m a nerd. I don’t know if I can say I memorized all of them.”

In his resume to the nominating council, Fay said his legal and public-affairs work under Bondi should help translate to serving as a utility regulator.

“In my capacity as an advisor to the attorney general on the Constitution Revision Commission, I have researched the energy industry to ensure that the attorney general will be prepared to vote on any proposals relating to the sector,” Fay wrote. “This experience has provided me with a more comprehensive knowledge of Florida’s energy industry and provides me with a foundation of knowledge needed to excel as a member of the Public Service Commission.”

Bondi said she was “thrilled for Andrew Fay and proud to have fully supported his appointment throughout this process.”

“The citizens of Florida will be served well by such an ethical and bright attorney,” Bondi said.

While Fay begins immediately on the commission, the appointment requires confirmation by the Florida Senate.

The nominating council offered Scott four names from among 17 candidates for the $132,000-a-year job.

The appointment expires Jan. 1, 2022.

The other finalists were: Baldwyn English, who served as chief adviser to former Public Service Commission member Ronald Brise; Brandon J. Patty, who served as an aide to former Gov. Jeb Bush and worked for campaigns of presidential candidate Mitt Romney and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio; and state Insurance Consumer Advocate Sha’Ron James.

Workman, a Melbourne Republican, withdrew from the post after a sexual-harassment allegation by Senate Rules Chairwoman Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers. Workman said he did not recall any inappropriate behavior.

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