Glendening names Ivey to head PSC Lawyer headed probe of Senate panel into death of Clinton aide

Telecommunications expert

He will serve 4 months left in Frisby's term, then a full 5-year term

March 14, 1998|By M. William Salganik | M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF Sun reporter Thomas W. Waldron contributed to this article.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening yesterday tapped Glenn F. Ivey, a lawyer who coordinated the Senate investigation into the death of deputy White House counsel Vincent W. Foster Jr., to chair the Public Service Commission.

He worked on the Foster probe as counsel to the Senate Whitewater and banking committees from 1994 to 1996. Since then he has been chief counsel to Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota and responsible for telecommunications issues.

Ivey will replace H. Russell Frisby Jr., who resigned last month with four months of his term remaining to become president of a telecommunications trade association.

Ivey will begin work next week. If confirmed by the state Senate, he would serve the last four months of Frisby's tenure and a five-year term of his own.

He arrives at a busy time for the state agency that regulates utilities. It has, for example, been grappling with how best to monitor telephone services, and has won praise for fostering competition in the industry.

Among the hottest issues on the immediate agenda are those concerned with deregulation of the electric power industry, allowing consumers some choice over who sells them power. Nationally, some utilities have been selling their generating plants to focus on the distribution of power.

The PSC developed regulations to allow consumer choice by 2001, but delayed the plan by more than a year after criticism by legislators and the state people's counsel, who represents residential and noncommercial utility customers before the commission.

PSC regulations were also blamed by Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. and Potomac Electric Power Co. for barring a merger they said would better position them in a deregulated arena.

"The climate surrounding deregulation presents challenges and opportunities for the consumer and utility industries," Ivey said. "I will work with all parties to achieve that important balance needed to make these regulatory changes beneficial for both the utilities and their customers."

Glendening said Ivey brings "a unique blend of experience and knowledge" and would work to be fair to both "consumers and public utility investors."

A resident of Cheverly, Ivey was an assistant U.S. attorney in the District of Columbia from 1990 to 1994. He is a 1983 graduate of Princeton University and a 1986 graduate of Harvard Law School.

Frisby was paid $94,190 a year. Ivey will be paid $106,664, if the figure is approved by the state Board of Public Works.

Pub Date: 3/14/98

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