O’Malley taps Hughes to lead Public Service Commission -- Gazette.Net


Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has named W. Kevin Hughes as the new chairman of state’s Public Service Commission, following the appointment of the commission’s previous chairman to the Court of Special Appeals.

Hughes has served on the commission, which regulates the state’s public utilities, since 2011.

“Commissioner Hughes’ tenure on the Public Service Commission has been exemplary,” O’Malley said in a statement. “He has demonstrated a commitment to protecting the interests of ratepayers while also balancing the needs of utilities and ensuring that Marylanders have access to clean, affordable energy.”

Hughes previously was a deputy legislative officer to both O’Malley and former Gov. Parris Glendening (D).

Previous Chairman Douglas R.M. Nazarian, who has led the commission since 2008, was appointed Friday to the state Court of Special Appeals.

“I am confident that [Nazarian] has the intellect and organizational skills necessary to meet the needs of the Court of Special Appeals and to render well-reasoned decisions,” O’Malley said in a statement.

The changes were part of a slew of appointments and staff changes O’Malley announced late Friday, including the selection of the administration’s new director of public affairs, Stephen Neuman.

“Governor O’Malley has fought hard to create jobs, invest in schools, and help middle-class families in Maryland get ahead,” Neuman said in a statement. “I’m honored to join his team.”

Neuman, a former staffer for Gov. Bev Purdue (D) of North Carolina and former Gov. Mel Carnahan (D) of Missouri, succeeds Rick Abbruzzese, who left the administration for the private sector last month.