UPDATE: 7:40 Mayor Adrian M. Fenty just released the following statement:
The Administration is pleased to announce that current Public Service Commission member Betty Ann Kane has been nominated to serve as Chair of the PSC and long time regulatory lawyer and District resident Lori Lee has been submitted to council as a member only.
D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) has withdrawn family friend Lori M. Lee from consideration to head the Public Service Commission after citizens complained that she is not qualified for the nearly $150,000 position.
Though she has worked as an attorney in the Justice Department, she has no experience in public utilities.
Lee is a close friend of Michelle Fenty, the mayor's wife, and a cousin of the wife of the mayor's brother.
Fenty's brief letter to Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) simply says he is withdrawing the nomination. It is time-stamped Feb. 11.
Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) previously headed the council committee that oversaw Lee's nomination and refused to move the resolution to the full legislative body after Fenty submitted the proposal in June.
Last month, a new legislative period began, and Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), a political ally of Fenty, became chairman of the Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs.
The scuttlebutt among some council members is that the mayor is withdrawing the nomination of Lee to head the commission but that he would still try to nominate her as a member.
Bowser said concerns about Lee's lack of experience are countered by her legal skills.
"She brings legal expertise to bear on serious issues that come before the commission," the councilmember continued.