When reports surfaced this spring that the chairman of the influential Public Utility Commission was being considered for the top job at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, watchdogs questioned whether he could legally — or ethically — apply for the job. If Sunset Advisory Commission Chair Glenn Hegar's recommendations stick, the answer will soon be no.
State Sen. Hegar, R-Katy, has advised adding a restriction to the PUC's revolving door policy that bans outgoing PUC commissioners from being employed by ERCOT for two years after their departure, according to the PUC's July 2010 Sunset report.
Barry Smitherman, who regulates ERCOT and serves on its board in an ex-officio manner in his capacity as the PUC chairman, eventually decided it didn't "feel right" to go for the $350,000-per-year executive director gig — even though the laws governing it were hazy. It appears Hegar's trying to clear the air.