PSC Lobbyist Resigns After Inappropriate Partying

Maybe Ryder Rudd just had a hankering for horse racing

All over a mint julep.

Ryder Rudd, director of strategic analysis for the Public Service Commission who admitted to attending a Kentucky Derby party at the home of FPL vice president Ed Tancer, has resigned, according to the Miami Herald.

Rudd's departure is one just the latest in a scandal-induced exodus that started when it was revealed that the PSC and FPL were maybe kind of sort of having improper relations.

Also yesterday, two aides were put on administrative leave and PSC commissioner Nancy Argenziano called for an investigation into legislative and utility company influence on the PSC. Sen. Mike Fasano also called for a state Senate investigation.

Aide Roberta Bass was put on leave for providing her and her boss's BlackBerry PIN to FPL attorney Natalie Smith. Aide William Garner also provided his PIN to Smith. Bass and Garner join Larry Harris, who resigned as Argenziano's aide Labor Day weekend, in the aftermath of a Herald article that revealed PSC employees provided their PINs to FPL executives - controversial because of potentially inappropriate communication and because exchanging information via PINs apparently leaves no paper trail, even though such conversations should be public record.

As for Rudd, who had been supervising the commission's review of FPL's pipeline request, he claims he chipped in 50 bucks for party supplies, but didn't have a receipt, and so there is no way to determine whether he violated any rules. Inspector General Steven Stolting did say, however, that he thought Rudd had used "poor judgment."

Also perhaps using "poor judgment" was FPL when announcing that should their proposed $1.3 billion rate increase be approved, a new jet would be purchased.

The final day of rate increase hearings is September 16.

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