Arizona Corporation Commissioner Doug Little will resign his post after taking a job with the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C.
Little, who was elected in 2014, will serve as deputy assistant secretary for intergovernmental and external affairs, he told the Arizona Capitol Times.
Little’s last day at the Corporation Commission will be September 29, and he starts at the Department of Energy on October 2.
The vacancy will give Gov. Doug Ducey a second opportunity to appoint a corporation commissioner. He appointed Andy Tobin in 2015 after Susan Bitter Smith resigned over legal concerns with her outside employment. Tobin was elected in 2016 to a full term.
While the past few years at the commission have been punctuated with scandals over dark money spending and utility influence, Little said he loved the job and wasn’t leaving because of any problems with the commission.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime deal,” he said.
In his new role, he will be working on energy issues with all levels of government and outside groups, from local officials to tribes to nonprofits, he said.
Little served as chairman of the commission in 2016, and he was active with national utility regulation groups. His activities at the regional and national level with industry groups helped him land his new gig, he said. He was previously being considered for a seat on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which he ultimately did not get, he said.
Little didn’t want to weigh in on who should be appointed to fill his role, but said he would encourage the governor to find someone with energy or water experience because of the complexity of the issues the commission handles.
Gov. Doug Ducey’s spokesman, Patrick Ptak, said the governor is aware of the resignation.
“This is an important position, and Governor Ducey will take a thoughtful approach to filling this vacancy with an individual who is qualified to do the job,” Ptak said in an email.