For Immediate Release
Leading Ethics Experts say that Noel Cannot Serve Effectively on Public Service Commission
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Pepco strongly urges Mayor Vincent C. Gray to reconsider his nomination of Elizabeth A. Noel to serve on the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia. Leading ethics experts, Michael S. Frisch, who has taught professional responsibility for over 20 years and also served as former Senior Assistant Bar Counsel for the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and Retired U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Sporkin, have determined that Ms. Noel must recuse herself from any matter in which she participated personally and substantially as People's Counsel. Any case that bears a lawyer's name, as an attorney of record, would preclude that lawyer from sitting in judgment of that case, including the Public Service Commission, according to the Attorney General's Opinion and the opinion of Frisch and Sporkin. These opinions are consistent with the findings of the three-member panel appointed by the Attorney General to review Ms. Noel's impartiality and ability to serve effectively on the Commission. In spite of these findings, however, the three- member panel concluded that Ms. Noel could serve "effectively," although she would have to recuse herself from more than 50 percent of the cases pending before the Commission. In effect, Ms. Noel would receive a full-time salary for part-time service. These concerns were expressed by several Councilmembers during Ms. Noel's confirmation hearing.
Pepco, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POM), delivers safe, reliable and affordable electric service to more than 789,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia.