Groups claim McCrory has utilities conflict

Governor-elect Pat McCrory holds a news conference on the day after his victory.

January 4, 2013 10:35:50 AM PST
Incoming North Carolina governor Pat McCrory worked for Duke Energy for nearly three decades, so does he have a conflict of interest when it comes to appointing members of the NC Utilities Commission? Two North Carolina groups say he does.

Friday, AARP-NC and energy watchdog group NC WARN sent the governor-elect a letter asking him to recuse himself from appointing a Utilities Commission chairman and executive director of the Public Staff.

The joint letter calls the positions crucial to North Carolina's "economic and environmental future, with billions of dollars at stake," and points out that Duke Energy now controls 97 percent of the electricity used in the state.

"Because of this, we ask you to recuse yourself from making these appointments, and to establish a process for choosing commissioners, the chairman and the executive director that is transparent, ethical and fair to all North Carolinians," reads the letter from AARP North Carolina State Director Doug Dickerson and NC WARN Executive Director Jim Warren in part.

McCory's camp said he would not recuse himself.

"Governor McCrory will carry out his duties as governor of North Carolina, he will complete what he was elected to do," said a spokesperson.

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