Certification of consumer rep on Puerto Rico utility board expected in early March
SAN JUAN – Starting Feb. 7, Puerto Rico’s Consumer Affairs Department (DACO by its Spanish acronym) should start the process of confirming the documentation submitted by Tomás Torres Placa, the executive director of the Institute of Competitiveness and Economic Sustainability (ICSE-PR), to certify him as the consumer representative at the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s (Prepa) board, Torres Placa said in a statement.
Fifteen days after the Feb. 7 deadline, DACO is slated to receive a report, with which it can act according to the law, Torres Placa stressed, and issue the confirmation.
In his statement, Torres Placa expressed satisfaction that DACO recognized him at a hearing Tuesday in San Juan Superior Court as the only person to have filed candidacy documentation for the consumer representative seat.
“We trust that after this final stage of the process, we will be quickly certified as consumer representative. This will allow the seat that has been vacant for the past 19 months to be filled for the defense of residential, commercial and industrial consumers,” he said.
Torres Placa sued DACO and the Citizens Ombudsman Office last year to compel them to certify him as the Prepa board’s consumer representative.
Torres Placa maintains he has complied with the legal process and became the only candidate for the position, but instead of certifying him as such, DACO Secretary Michael Pierluisi opened up a new process to select Prepa’s consumer representative.
The board seat has been vacant for 14 months. Torres Placa, an engineer, filed his candidacy on Jan. 29, 2018.