- Associated Press - Friday, January 10, 2020

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - State lawmakers reviewing candidates to be regulators on South Carolina’s utilities board only found six qualified candidates for four seats.

The legislators even found one current member of the Public Service Commission, Swain Whitfield, not qualified for the job he has held for more than 10 years, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported.

The lawmakers want to extend the search so they can find more qualified candidates.

The lawmakers on the Public Utilities Review Committee held hearings this week reviewing the qualifications of 17 candidate who would be in charge of regulating gas, water, electric and telecommunications utilities.

They reviewed the results of tests each of them took and interviewed them under oath. They rejected 11 of the candidates, including Whitfield.

The candidates they found qualified were George “Robert” Newman, Carolyn “Carolee” Williams, Headen Thomas, Thomas “Tee” Miller Jr., Stephen “Mike” Caston and Comer “Randy” Randall,.

Randall is currently on the board.

The Public Service Commission has been under increased scrutiny since two South Carolina utilities poured $9 billion, much of it paid by customers, into the construction of two nuclear reactors and the project was abandoned before generating any power.

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