Ohio’s top utility regulator to leave job for private sector

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s top utility regulator is stepping down from his post about a year after being appointed.

Andre (OHN’-dray) Porter, chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, submitted his resignation letter Friday. He will leave the post May 20 for a job in the private sector.

Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) appointed Porter in April 2015. A timeline for choosing Porter’s replacement hasn’t been announced.

Porter’s decision comes the same week federal regulators dealt a powerful blow to the Ohio commission over a pair of energy deals it approved last month. The Federal Energy Regulatory says the power purchase agreements, filed separately by Columbus-based AEP and Akron-based FirstEnergy, cannot take effect until they are approved at the federal level.

The agreements have drawn national attention from business, consumer, environmental and energy groups.