- Associated Press - Monday, March 28, 2016

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Gov. Larry Hogan’s appointee to the Public Service Commission has run into tough questions by a panel of senators considering his nomination.

Michael Richard, a former deputy chief of staff to the Republican governor, appeared before the panel Monday.

Democrats questioned Richard’s independence as a member of an agency that regulates utilities. That’s because of emails obtained by an advocacy group that Richard sent to Hogan administration officials about issues before the PSC.

Richard says he sent the emails because he was still transitioning from his job in the administration to the agency. He also says counsel told him it was OK to send them.

Richard is serving on the five-member PSC in an acting role, pending Senate confirmation. A vote on his nomination could come next week.

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