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California and the West

Ex-FCC Member Named to PUC

January 12, 2006|From Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday appointed Rachelle Chong, a former member of the Federal Communications Commission, to fill a vacancy on the California Public Utilities Commission.

Chong, a Republican, has a background in telecommunications law and policy. She was a member of the FCC from 1994 to 1997, during which a major overhaul was implemented with the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Most recently she operated her own business as a mediator, arbitrator and expert witness in telecommunications.

Chong's background in telecommunications "in conjunction with her exceptional understanding of the regulatory environment will be a tremendous asset to the public utilities commission," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

Chong will succeed Commissioner Susan Kennedy, a Democrat whom the Republican governor picked at the end of November to be his chief of staff.

The appointment requires state Senate confirmation.

The five-member commission regulates investor-owned utilities, including gas, electricity, telephone, water, railroads and certain passenger and household goods carriers.

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