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Title XXV INCORPORATION AND REGULATION OF CERTAIN UTILITIES AND CARRIERS

Chapter 386

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  386.710.  Powers of public counsel. — 1.  The public counsel shall have the following powers and duties:

  (1)  He shall employ a staff or hire on a contract basis such employees and experts as are necessary to carry out the purposes and responsibilities of his office, and shall set their compensation within the appropriation made for that purpose;

  (2)  He may represent and protect the interests of the public in any proceeding before or appeal from the public service commission;

  (3)  He shall have discretion to represent or refrain from representing the public in any proceeding.  He shall consider in exercising his discretion the importance and the extent of the public interest involved and whether that interest would be adequately represented without the action of his office.  If the public counsel determines that there are conflicting public interests involved in a particular matter, he may choose to represent one such interest based upon the considerations of this section, to represent no interest in that matter, or to represent one interest and certify to the director of the department of economic development that there is a significant public interest which he cannot represent without creating a conflict of interest and which will not be protected by any party to the proceeding.  The director of the department shall select an attorney, to be paid from funds appropriated for this purpose, to represent that segment of the public certified to him by the public counsel as unrepresented.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the right of any person, firm or corporation specified in subsection 1 of section 386.390 to petition or make complaint to the commission or otherwise intervene in proceedings or other matters before the commission.

  2.  The public counsel shall be served with all proposed tariffs, initial pleadings, and applications, in all proceedings before the public service commission, and shall be served with a copy of all orders of the commission.

  3.  Nothing in sections 386.071, 386.150, 386.155, 386.170, 386.200, 386.330, 386.360, 386.390, 386.400, 386.410, 386.420, 386.440, 386.450, 386.480, 386.500, 386.530, 386.540, 386.600, 386.700 and 386.710, shall be construed or interpreted to mean that the public counsel shall not have the right to appeal any and all orders of the public service commission to the courts which right of appeal exists and has existed since the time of transfer as provided in section 386.500.

  4.  He shall have all powers necessary or proper to carry out the duties specified in this section.

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(L. 1977 H.B. 42 & 157)


---- end of effective   28 Aug 1977 ----

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