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Perry Appoints San Antonio Lawyer to Utility Commission

Rolando Pablos, the former chairman of the Texas Racing Commission, will fill the empty slot at the Texas Public Utility Commission. Separately, the state's electric grid operator announced that its board chairwoman, Laura Doll, is stepping down.

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Rolando Pablos, a lawyer from the San Antonio area, will fill the empty slot at the Texas Public Utility Commission, the governor's office announced Tuesday.

Pablos, who until recently chaired of the Texas Racing Commission (a Texas body that oversees horse and greyhound racing), told the Tribune last year that he was "interested" in running for state Senate if Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, vacated his seat for a job at Texas A&M University. Wentworth, however, decided to run again in 2012.

At the PUC — Texas' electric-sector regulator — Pablos will be filling a slot that's been vacant since Gov. Rick Perry appointed Barry Smitherman, the former PUC chairman, to the Railroad Commission in July. Donna Nelson now chairs the PUC. All PUC commissioners, including Pablos, are appointed by Perry.

The governor's office described Pablos as an "attorney in private practice" and a senior adviser to SNR Denton, an international firm. He also serves as honorary consul to Spain, chairs the San Antonio Free Trade Alliance, and has been a past board chairman of San Antonio's Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. As an attorney, he has specialized in business development and international trade. Pablos' term on the commission will expire in September 2013.

Perry has also reappointed Commissioner Ken Anderson Jr. for another term at the PUC (to expire in 2017), the governor's office announced.

Separately on Tuesday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state grid operator, announced that Laura Doll, the chairwoman of its board and a former executive with the California Public Utilities Commission, would step down early next year "to pursue a career opportunity in California."

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