Branstad defends regulator who works as private lawyer

DES MOINES (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says Iowa Utilities Board chairwoman Geri Huser has done nothing wrong in maintaining a busy outside law practice while earning a $128,900 state salary.
Branstad said Monday that Huser has put in a “tremendous amount of time” leading the three-member board that regulates electric and gas utilities. He says Huser has disclosed her work with Skinner Law Office as required, and that the Senate should confirm her reappointment.
A Senate committee delayed Huser’s confirmation last week after The Associated Press reported that she’s handled scores of cases as an attorney during her two-year tenure. Huser’s firm was awarded $177,000 in fees in matters in which she was the primary attorney, and estimates it will receive $28,000 more in pending cases.
State law requires board members to devote their “whole time” to their duties.