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Final member of Public Utilities Commission resigns, leaving board vacant

Chairman Arthur D'Andrea submitted his resignation to Gov. Greg Abbott Tuesday, and it was accepted, Abbott wrote in a news release.
Credit: PUC
PUC Chairman Arthur D'Andrea resigned Tuesday.

AUSTIN, Texas — The final member of the board for the Public Utility Commission of Texas has resigned.

Chairman Arthur D'Andrea submitted his resignation to Gov. Greg Abbott Tuesday, and it was accepted, Abbott wrote in a news release.

"Tonight, I asked for and accepted the resignation of PUC Commissioner Arthur D’Andrea," Abbott wrote. "I will be naming a replacement in the coming days who will have the responsibility of charting a new and fresh course for the agency. Texans deserve to have trust and confidence in the Public Utility Commission, and this action is one of many steps that will be taken to achieve that goal."

D'Andrea is the third PUC board member to resign in the wake of February's historic winter storms that left millions of Texans without electricity or power for days. Commissioner Shelly Botkin resigned March 8, and Chairman DeAnn Walker resigned March 1.

RELATED: PUC Commissioner Shelly Botkin resigns, leaving one member on the board

Abbott initially replaced Walker with D'Andrea as chairman two days later. Now, with D'Andrea's resignation, there are no more members on the PUC board. 

RELATED: After resignation, Gov. Abbott replaces PUC chair with PUC commissioner

Abbott's statement Tuesday night did not give a reason for D'Andrea's resignation. According to a Texas Monthly article published Tuesday, D'Andrea, in a 48-minute call with out-of-state investors who stood to profit from the storms, promised to keep their profits intact.

On his biography page on the PUC's website, D'Andrea states he is "wholeheartedly committed to serving my fellow Texans with decisions rooted in the law and reflective of the values that have made our state the envy of the nation":

"Texans have justifiably high expectations of safe and reliable service from their electric, telephone and water utilities just as those utilities deserve fair and clear direction from this regulatory body. I am wholeheartedly committed to serving my fellow Texans with decisions rooted in the law and reflective of the values that have made our state the envy of the nation. I am honored to serve Texas and advance the best interests of her people."