A diminished Ohio Office of Consumers’ Counsel has a new leader

CLEVELAND — “The bad idea of gutting the consumer advocacy agency originated with Gov. John Kasich, who argued that some of its functions duplicated those of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.

Kasich’s misjudgment, and his slash-and-burn tactics, should be reversed forthwith. Money for the OCC came from fees paid by investor-owned utility companies, not from the state’s extra-lean budget.

Weston, interim counsel for the agency for the last year and the agency’s former deputy counsel, must do all that he can to regain a reasonable level of operating revenue, so his agency can once again fully represent the interests of Ohio’s 4.5 million residential utility customers.

His long experience in the complicated and often esoteric field of public utilities law — and his willingness to take the helm despite the agency’s anemic budget — suggests that he knows just how important it is for consumers to have a strong advocate.”

— editorial, Cleveland Plain Dealer

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