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Political insider: New gig for ex-lobbyist Norm Saari

Detroit News staff

Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday appointed former Consumers Energy lobbyist Norm Saari to the Michigan Public Service Commission, the state’s utility regulation agency.

Norm Saari.

For the past two years, Saari has been chief of staff to Republican House Speaker Kevin Cotter and former Speaker Jase Bolger. He succeeded Suzanne Miller-Allen as Bolger’s chief of staff (and once worked for Miller-Allen’s husband, former state Sen. Jason Allen).

Saari spent most of his career though working in the Lansing and Washington government affairs offices of Jackson-based Consumers Energy.

“Norm has had a distinguished career in the utility industry as well as in public service, and he brings decades of experience to the Michigan Public Service Commission,” Snyder said in a statement.

Saari replaces retiring commissioner Greg White on the three-person panel. Pending approval by the state Senate, Saari’s six-year term will expire in July 2021.

Moments after the governor’s office announced Saari’s appointment mid-day Wednesday, Cotter’s office announced that House general counsel Brock Swartzle will be promoted to chief of staff.

Contributors: Chad Livengood and Melissa Nann Burke