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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 02, 1999
AG Gregoire Appoints New Chief of Public Counsel Section


OLYMPIA -- Attorney General Christine Gregoire has appointed Simon ffitch as the new chief of the Public Counsel Section. The section represents the state's telecommunications, gas, and energy customers before the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC), as well as the courts, the Legislature and other bodies.

“The changing telecommunication and energy industries have created a regulatory environment which calls for a new and broader Public Counsel role in advocating for customers,” said Gregoire. “With more than 10 years experience in the utility-regulation field, Simon has the skills to make the office a major advocate for Washington consumers.”

A member of the Public Counsel Section of the AG's Office for two years, ffitch replaces Rob Manifold, who held the position since 1993. Previously, ffitch worked for the WUTC, and as a senior administrative law judge for the Oregon Public Utility Commission. He also was a volunteer attorney for the Oregon Citizens Utility Board and assisted low-income utility customers through his work with Oregon Legal Services. He received his law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School in 1980.

“These are critical times for utility customers, with two of the largest industries in the state-- telecommunications and energy--undergoing unprecedented and dramatic changes,” said ffitch. “These industries reach into virtually every home and business, and decisions by state and federal regulators, legislators, and other policy makers will determine whether this tide of change will yield benefits for Washington citizens.”

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