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Howard Learner, executive director at the Environmental Law and Policy Center, a Chicago based clean energy Lv Sneakers Price group that has an office in Sioux Falls, said Rounds' appointment "doesn't pass the smell test."

"When I was governor, we always respected the fact that he was an analyst," Mike Rounds said. "I didn't ask him about what they were doing; I didn't ask about the rate cases he was working on. If he didn't tell me about it, I didn't ask him about it. We always left it that way."

Wyoming: If the same situation arose in Wyoming, "I don't know that (recusal) would be mandatory (in this case), but it would very probable," said Chris Etrie, chief counsel for the Wyoming Public Service Commission.

ITC Holdings, Mike Rounds and Brian Rounds all deny that a conflict of interest exists in this case.

"In this particular case, I would not expect there would be advocacy (for ITC projects) on my part," Rounds said. He also denied any potential conflict stemming from his son's position.

Montana: The Montana Public Service Commission has an ethics manual that goes beyond state laws regarding conflicts of interest, chief legal counsel Dennis Lopach said.

Since 2009, ITC Holdings has been laying the groundwork for a massive transmission network called the Green Power Express: 3,000 miles of high voltage lines designed to move power from "high capacity wind rich areas to Midwestern and Eastern states that demand clean, renewable energy," according to the project's description.

For his services, Rounds will be paid $75,000 a year, plus $75,000 in company stock and an additional cash payment if he serves as a committee chairman or director, according to financial disclosure forms filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Rather, Mike Rounds' appointment is a way to "add to the mix of experience and background of our board," said Daniel Oginsky, senior vice president and general counsel for ITC. The company's 10 member board of directors also includes a former congressman and a Clinton era secretary of energy.

to the board of directors of a company that plans to build a multibillion dollar network of transmission power lines across the Dakotas a job that will pay him $75,000 next year, plus that amount in stocks.

Oginsky insists that Rounds was hired not for the political weight he can bring to bear in Pierre, but for "his public policy expertise, his insights especially someone coming from Middle America and also his business experience."

"It's the exact sort of thing that feeds public cynicism about the revolving door nature of politics," Learner said.

Former Gov. Mike Rounds has been named to the board of directors of a company that wants to build transmission power lines across the Dakotas.

Former Gov. Mike Rounds has been named Louis Vuitton Red Bottom

North Dakota: Laws banning ex parte communication apply to everyone who works at the North Dakota Public Service Commission, and they extend not only to pending cases but also to matters that are "about" to be formally filed, general counsel Illona Jeffcoat Sacco said. Conflicts of interest involving family members are handled on a case by case basis. "Generally, if the family member is emancipated, and not a dependent for tax purposes, a conflict would probably not arise," she said, "but there could be other circumstances tipping the balance in the other direction."

between state regulators and businesses.

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That's because ITC Holdings of Novi, Mich. the company for which Rounds now works eventually will need its project to be approved by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, where most employees are carryovers from the Rounds administration. That includes analyst Brian Rounds, son of the former governor.

While it's not unusual that a former politician such as a governor would be named to the board of directors of a private company after leaving office, this appointment has raised concerns about a potential conflict of interest.

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Rounds' post stirs conflict concerns

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The company eventually would need the approval of the state Public Utilities Commission for its multibillion dollar project the same PUC where most employees are carryovers from the Rounds administration. That includes analyst Brian Rounds, son of the former governor. Some observers say such a situation could produce a conflict of interest. Here's a how officials in neighboring states say they would handle a similar situation:

project's description, federal filings and conceptual map show the project tapping wind farms in South Dakota and other states, with lines running through the transmission hub at the Big Bend hydropower plant in Fort Thompson. The timeline for obtaining these permits is unknown, Oginsky said.

3,000 miles on line to move wind power


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Rounds left office in January after two terms as governor. This is his first appointment to the board of a publicly traded company, and he described his new role as an adviser who sticks to the "confines of the boardroom."

Only elected officials such as commissioners are subject to state laws regarding conflicts of interest, and there is a sizable gray area involving what constitutes improper contact Palladium Tactical Boots Mens

Rounds' appointment does not create a conflict of interest, Oginsky said, because "we don't have any imminent plans to make filings in South Dakota. We may in the future, but I don't want to speculate about that."

No 'advocacy on my part,' Rounds says

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