Incoming Governor Names New Public Service Commission Chairman

Jan 7, 2015

A day after Gov. Mike Beebe announced Lamar Davis would fill Colette Honorable’s spot on the Arkansas Public Service Commission, Gov.-elect Asa Hutchinson announced that consultant and former State Rep. Ted Thomas will take another opening on the three-member regulatory panel and serve as chairman.

“This appointment is a critical one – both in terms of economic development and consumer protection – and striking the right balance is key,” Hutchinson said. “Ted recognizes how important this balance is and understands the significant role it plays as we attempt to create a strong environment for economic growth in Arkansas. In addition, Ted is one of the brightest people I know, and I am confident he will make our state and people proud in his new position.”

Thomas will fill a position that will be open on Jan. 14 that is currently held by Olan “Butch” Reeves.

In addition to his consulting role with Diamond State Consulting and former legislative experience, Thomas has served as Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the 20th Judicial District, Administrative Law Judge at the Public Service Commission for seven-and-a-half years, and Budget Director for Gov. Mike Huckabee and in the Arkansas House of Representatives.

Thomas received a Bachelor of Arts with High Honors in Political Science from the University of Arkansas in 1986 and a J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1988.

He is licensed to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, the Arkansas Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the Eight Circuit, and the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas. Thomas lives in Conway.

On Tuesday, Beebe named Lamar Davis of Little Rock to the Arkansas Public Service Commission after Honorable was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Davis’ term will expire January 14, 2017.

Davis, 43, has served as Beebe’s Deputy Chief of Staff throughout both gubernatorial terms. Prior to that, he spent five years as a consumer-protection attorney at the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office.

The Governor gets to choose the chairman of the PSC, which had been Honorable until she vacated her position. Gov. Beebe said he would defer to Gov.-elect Hutchinson to make that selection when he announced Davis’ appointment yesterday.