HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Southern District Public Service Commissioner candidate Tom Blanton has filed a Supreme Court Case to recuse Central District Commissioner Lynn Posey from the November decision about Mississippi Power rate increases.
Blanton initially presented his concerns about Posey receiving campaign funds from major construction companies that helped build the Kemper plant and a firm that represent Mississippi Power on Oct. 1, 2015, but the Public Service Commission denied Blanton's motion for recusal, saying "none of the Commissioners have any personal or financial interest in the outcome of this docket."
Blanton filed his case with the Mississippi Supreme Court on Monday, calling Posey's accepting of funds "a conflict of interest at best and criminal at worst." Blanton's case states "the commission's order denying motion to recuse glosses over the facts, substituting platitudes for what really occurred."
Blanton's concern stem from "coordinated fundraisers" held for Posey in October 2013 in both Jackson and Meridian, according to his original filing.
"They were not random fundraising events to support commissioner Posey," the motion said. "The "chairmen" at these fundraisers were Devinney Construction Company, Jean and Tom Elmore, Eutaw Construction Company, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, Puckett Machinery/Puckett Rents and Nancy and Bill Yates. These fundraisers were carefully orchestrated by six (6) of the main financial beneficiaries of the construction of Kemper IGCC. Eutaw Construction Company, Puckett Machinery Company, Puckett Rents and Yates Construction received payment of more than Sixty-Five Million Dollars ($65,000,000.00) for services performed at Kemper IGCC and/or the Kemper Mine during 2013."
The Public Service Commission's Nov. 10 hearing will consider Mississippi Power's request to permanently increase rates by 18 percent.