- Associated Press - Thursday, February 9, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ administration has replaced the leader of the office that represents consumers in utility rate cases.

James Owen says he was informed Friday that he was being replaced by Hampton Williams as leader of the Office of Public Counsel. Owen says no reason was given. Owen has returned to private legal practice in Columbia.

Hampton was out of the office Thursday and unavailable for comment. A message seeking comment from Greitens’ office was not returned.

The Office of Public Counsel advocates on behalf of ratepayers in front of the Missouri Public Service Commission, which establishes rates for utility companies like Ameren and Kansas City Power and Light.

Owen was appointed in February 2016 by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. Greitens, a Republican, was elected in November.

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