Davis Names Ex-Staff Member as Head of PUC


Exercising new powers for a California governor, Gov. Gray Davis on Wednesday named Loretta Lynch president of the California Public Utilities Commission, immediately replacing PUC Commissioner Richard Bilas.

Bilas will remain on the five-member commission, which regulates the phone and energy industries as well as some transportation and water matters statewide.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. March 24, 2000 For the Record
Los Angeles Times Friday March 24, 2000 Home Edition Business Part C Page 3 Financial Desk 1 inches; 35 words Type of Material: Correction
PUC president--Loretta Lynch, the new president of the California Public Utilities Commission, will earn $113,287 annually, and her term expires Jan. 1, 2005. A story in Thursday’s Business section contained incorrect salary and term information.

A change in the PUC’s top post had been expected since January, when a law took effect giving expanded powers to the PUC president and giving the governor the authority to select the president.

Lynch was a key member of Davis’ staff until she formally joined the PUC at the end of 1999, replacing Davis appointee Joel Hyatt. Her elevated role on the commission gives her more powers to direct the PUC staff as well as a slightly higher salary of $106,000, a larger office and a small increase in staff.

Her term expires in 2004. Bilas, whose current term expires at the end of 2002, said he was relieved to be handing off the president’s duties to Lynch after holding the commission’s top job for more than two years.