The first employee hired in October 1985 for the newly created Office of Inspector General at the Tennessee Valley Authority should soon be heading the watchdog agency.
Ben R.Wagner, who was nominated by President Joe Biden to become only the second presidential appointed Inspector General in the history of the office, was unanimously endorsed for the job on Wednesday by a U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
Wagner, who testified before the panel on April 6, will have his nomination brought to the floor of the U.S. Senate in the coming weeks for a final Senate confirmation vote on his nomination to head the Inspector General's office. The only other presidentially appointed Inspector General TVA has had was Richard Moore, whose term ended after 14 years about four years ago. Since then, interim directors have headed the investigatory agency at TVA.
Although the Senate appears ready to confirm Wagner, the White House nominations for the TVA board have yet to receive a vote by any Senate committee for a recommendation to the entire U.S. Senate.
Last year after less than three months in office, Biden nominated four new directors for the 9-member TVA board. One dropped out in February, but the three others — Beth Geer, Robert Klein, and L. Michelle Moore — have been renominated this year and were interviewed on April 6 before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
"In meeting with Ms. Geer, Mr. Klein, and Ms. Moore, I believe they would rise to this challenge and bring excellent leadership to the TVA Board of Directors if confirmed," .U.S. Sen.Tom Carpet, D-Delaware and chair of the Senate panel, said in a statement last month. "I hope that we can quickly confirm each of these nominees."
But other members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee have raised concerns about the lack of representation on the TVA board for Alabama, Mississippi and Kentucky and several members have appealed to President Biden to nominate someone from each of those states before the Senate moves ahead to confirm the other nominees.
— Compiled by Dave Flessner