Michael Albert, chairman of the state Public Service Commission, will retire from his position at the end of his term this year, he wrote in a letter to Gov. Jim Justice.
He’ll retire when his term ends June 30, 2019.
“My plan is to assist in any transition as I complete my current term and then disappear quietly into the life of this community,” he wrote in the letter, dated Feb. 4.
Through a spokeswoman, he declined to be interviewed.
Albert was appointed to the commission, which regulates utilities in West Virginia, in February 2007. He was appointed chairman five months later by then-Gov. Joe Manchin. He succeeded Jon McKinney, who stepped down as chairman.
A graduate of West Virginia University’s law school and a U.S. Navy veteran, Albert was also president of the Kanawha County Public Library’s board of directors, where he remains a board member.
Albert worked as an attorney for Jackson Kelly in Charleston, and spent a lot of his career representing utility companies. When he was confirmed, he promised senators he’d remain impartial as chairman of the PSC.
“If I didn’t feel I would be impartial in that case, I would recuse myself, but I know I can be impartial,” Albert said in August 2007.
Justice will select the next chairman. Commissioners are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.
Commissioner Renee Larrick was appointed to the commission in July 2017. Her term ends June 30, 2023. Commissioner Brooks McCabe Jr., a former state senator from Kanawha County, was appointed in November 2014, and his term will end June 30, 2021.
In a statement, Justice thanked Albert for his service. “On behalf of all West Virginians I want to say thank you to Michael Albert for all of his dedicated service to our state and its citizens. We appreciate everything you have done to make our state a better place to live and work,” Justice wrote.