Public Service Commission
COMMISSIONER CLARK RECEIVES ETHICS CLEARANCE - Possibility of conflict is ‘far removed and is not substantial’
Her husband’s employment with a large law firm that represents utilities before the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) does not create an inherent conflict of interest for PSC member Caroline Pitt Clark, the Executive Branch Ethics Commission said today.
In a ruling issued today, the Ethics Commission noted that Justin Clark’s employment with Stoll Keenon Ogden PLLC does not involve representing utilities nor does he directly benefit from the firm’s utility practice. Therefore, “the potential for conflict that exists is far removed and is not substantial,” the Ethics Commission said.
“I am gratified that this issue has been resolved in a manner that will allow me to fully participate in the work of the PSC,” Clark said. “The credibility of the PSC rests entirely on our adherence to the highest standards of transparency and ethical conduct and I intend to make the utmost effort to uphold those standards.”
Clark said she will follow the Ethics Commission’s recommendation that she disclose to all parties her husband’s employment in any case in which Stoll Keenon Ogden is involved. She will also follow the Ethics Commission’s suggestion that she evaluate her participation in all matters involving Stoll Keenon Ogden on a case-by-case basis.
The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Department of Public Protection in the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and has approximately 110 employees.