Public Service Commission Chairman Jeff Davis, under fire for what some claim was an improper meeting with a utility executive, defends himself, telling the Missourinet he did nothing wrong.

Davis has met with Senator Maida Coleman (D-St. Louis) the top Democrat in the Senate who wants a public hearing on the private meeting Davis had with an Aquila executive involved in a proposed utility merger with Kansas City Power and Light. Davis met with Aquila CEO Richard Green in January. Davis tells the Missourinet the law allows such meetings as long as the PSC isn’t hearing a case. When we pressed him on the issue, noting that he knew the case would soon be before the PSC, Davis stuck with his insistence that he didn’t do anything wrong under current state law.

Davis says he never promised Green that the merger would go through. He says he only promised Green that the merger proposal would get a fair hearing and that the PSC would give a "yes" or a "no" to it.  The merger would total $1.7 billion. It has had its first hearing before the PSC and utility executives have stated they will submit a revised proposal next month.

Davis has since recused himself from the case. He says his decision to step down from the case had nothing to do with calls from both Governor Blunt and Attorney General Nixon to recuse himself. Davis says he made the decision before he knew of calls made by Blunt and Nixon.

Davis has scheduled his own hearing on January 7th in which changes can be proposed to tighten PSC ethics codes. Public Counsel Lewis Mills, the consumer advocate before the PSC, has submitted proposed changes. Davis says he wants to hear from anyone with suggestions and he hopes to deliver a proposal to the Senate by mid-January.

Download/listen Brent Martin reports (:60 MP3)