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Nevada PUC general counsel denies account of resignation

CARSON CITY — The former general counsel of the Nevada Public Utilities Commission said Tuesday her recent resignation from the agency had nothing to do with allegations raised about comments she had made on her social media account regarding the net metering debate earlier this year.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Carolyn Tanner, who said it was her personal decision to leave the agency on June 16.

The allegations by Carson City resident Fred Voltz that Tanner violated ethical rules by commenting on the rooftop solar issue on a Twitter account are completely without merit, she said. The rules cited by Voltz did not apply to her as general counsel, and the Twitter comments came after the net metering order was issued by the commission, she said.

Voltz made his allegations during a public comment period of a PUC meeting on June 15.

There is also nothing improper about using a pseudonym for a social media account, Tanner said. PUC officials were aware of her Twitter account that used the name “DixieRaeSparx.” Tanner said she did not want to be “trolled” by PUC critics by using her real name.

Tanner said most of her Twitter comments were not directly related to the order issued by the commission on the new net metering tariff, but focused on other rooftop solar issues outside the purview of the PUC.

Tanner, who was appointed general counsel in August 2013, said she resigned for personal reasons because it was time for her to pursue a new challenge.

“The commission was a great place to work, but it has been a hard year and I thought it was time for them to get a fresh perspective,” she said.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Find him on Twitter: @seanw801

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