Contact: Beth Gianforcaro (614) 466-9491
COLUMBUS, Ohio – March 20, 2012 – Bruce J. Weston has been selected to serve as the next Ohio Consumers' Counsel (OCC), only the fourth in the agency's 35-year history, the OCC Governing Board announced today. He has been serving as the Interim Consumers' Counsel at OCC since October 2011.
The OCC is the legal advocate for residential utility consumers in matters before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, courts in the state of Ohio and before various federal regulatory agencies.
"The OCC Governing Board's goal has been to hire the next Consumers' Counsel to lead the agency in its mission and to find creative solutions to the challenges for residential consumers in a changing utility industry," said John Moliterno, chairman of the OCC Governing Board. "Bruce Weston has demonstrated that he has the knowledge, experience and skills to lead the agency in this position that is important to all of Ohio's residential utility consumers.
Weston began his legal career with the OCC more than three decades ago before leaving the agency to work in a private legal practice. He rejoined the OCC as Deputy Consumers' Counsel and legal director in 2004. He has extensive experience in utility law and management at OCC.
He is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Law and holds a bachelor's degree in business administration (accounting) from the University of Cincinnati. He is a member of the Ohio Bar and is chair of the Public Utilities Law Committee for the Ohio State Bar Association.
"I am grateful to the Board for this continued opportunity to serve Ohio's residential utility consumers," said Weston. "OCC's vision is for utility services that are affordable and reliable for Ohioans, and I look forward to working with all involved on these issues."
Weston's annual compensation will be $128,689 -- the same salary he was paid as the deputy director of the Consumers' Counsel. He is staying at this current salary at his request. Weston was named from 34 applicants of whom six were offered interviews by the Governing Board. The Consumers' Counsel is appointed by and reports to the nine-member Governing Board. Weston will oversee all agency activities; manage a 42-person staff with an annual operating budget of approximately $5.6 million (reduced to $4.1 million in July 2012).
Before assuming the responsibilities of Consumers' Counsel, Weston will take an oath of office.
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