Newly appointed Public Utilities Commissioner Michael Harrington says having a pension from Northeast Utilities is not a good enough reason to disqualify him from hearing a case involving the utility – and so he won’t.
Harrington made the statement in an order he signed Tuesday dismissing a motion arguing that he has an unacceptable conflict of interest.
Ten out of 13 North Country representatives voted against a bill that would have abolished the State Art Fund.
According to the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts the fund is also known as the Percent for Art Program and it was established by the legislature in 1979.
That 1979 action “authorizes one-half of one percent of the capitol budget appropriation for new buildings or significant renovations to be set aside in a non-lapsing account for the acquisition or commissioning of artwork.”
Sen. John Gallus, a Republican from Berlin who represents the North Country, was among those voting last week not to override Gov. Lynch’s veto of so-called payday loans.
As NHPR reported“The measure would have lifted the current 36% interest rate cap on small loans. In place of that cap, Senator Matt Houde told colleagues companies could charge borrowers up to 403% interest.
The Conservation Law Foundation has joined in a request that newly appointed Public Utilities Commissioner Michael Harrington be disqualified from hearing a case involving the Merrimack Station powerplant because it feels there is a conflict of interest involving Public Service of New Hampshire.
The issue is that Harrington has a pension from Northeast Utilities, the parent company of PSNH, which routinely goes before the three-member commission.