April 5, 2011

Senate expected to confirm PUC nominee

AUGUSTA — Thomas Welch, Gov. Paul LePage's nominee for Maine's Public Utilities commissioner, is expected to win Senate confirmation for the post.

Welch on Monday won a unanimous endorsement from the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee. The 13-0 vote virtually guarantees Senate confirmation today.

Welch, or Hancock, would join Commissioners Vendean Vafiades and David Littell on the PUC. Welch served as chairman of the PUC from 1993 to 2005 and before that was a law school professor, chief deputy attorney general for Pennsylvania's antitrust division and in-house counsel for Bell Atlantic.

Welch would fill a slot vacated by PUC Chairman Jack Cashman, who's served since 2008.

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