AR Briefly

Administrative judge from Scott tapped to lead Arkansas Public Service Commission

By: - September 29, 2022 6:06 pm

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Thursday appointed an administrative law judge from Scott to be the next chair of Arkansas’ utility regulator.

Katie Anderson, an administrative judge for the Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Commission and vice president of her family’s Lonoke bait fish farm, will take the helm of the Arkansas Public Service Commission on Oct. 2.

Anderson will replace Chairman Ted Thomas and serve the remainder of his term, which expires in early 2027.

Thomas, who was appointed to the regulator by Hutchinson in 2015, announced his resignation earlier this month amid clashes with some of the state’s largest electric utilities over the implementation of solar power. Thomas has expressed frustration with the utilities’ embrace of alternative energy sources, but he has insisted he was not forced or asked to resign.

Anderson previously served as a law clerk for a variety of federal and state judges, including Arkansas Supreme Court Justice Karen R. Baker when she was on the state Court of Appeals.

From 2012-2015, Anderson was senior manager of the state and local policy team for Walmart Store, Inc.

“Katie has proven to be a fair arbiter of important issues throughout her career,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “I’m confident she will bring a fair and balanced approach to matters before the Public Service Commission. She has served the state well as an Administrative Law Judge and her judicial temperament and sense of fairness make her a good fit in the Public Service Commission.”


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Hunter Field
Hunter Field

Hunter Field is a veteran Arkansas journalist whose reporting on the state has carried him from military air strips in northwest Arkansas to soybean fields in the Arkansas delta. He spent the better part of the last decade investigating and reporting on Arkansas government and politics. For three years, he covered education policy, medical marijuana and the Arkansas General Assembly as part of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Capitol Bureau. Most recently, he was the Democrat-Gazette's projects editor, leading the newspaper's investigative team. Hunter got his start in journalism covering sports for The Commercial Appeal in Memphis. A Memphis native, he enjoys smoking barbecue, kayaking and fishing in his free time.