- Associated Press - Saturday, August 27, 2016

HONOLULU (AP) - An appointed public utilities commissioner will keep his seat based on a judge’s ruling.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports (https://bit.ly/2byDY3b) the Public Utilities Commission’s former chairwoman and some state senators questioned whether Gov. David Ige legally appointed interim member Thomas Gorak.

A judge ruled Friday that the appointment was valid.

An appeal could be filed within 30 days.

Gorak needs to be confirmed by the state Senate to stay on the commission beyond the end of his appointment in May 2017.



State Attorney General Doug Chin issued a formal opinion in July saying the state constitution gives Ige the authority to appoint interim members.

Gorak abstained from voting on the failed merger between Hawaiian Electric and NextEra Energy.

The governor was against the merger.

___

Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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