State Corporation Commission Judge Judith Jagdmann (Photo by Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)
The State Corporation Commission will be down to one permanent judge in the new year with the resignation of Judith W. Jagdmann effective Dec. 31, which was announced Friday afternoon.
Jagdmann has been serving since February 2006 on the three-member commission, one of the state’s most powerful regulatory bodies overseeing utilities, business, insurance and more, alongside Chairman Jehmal T. Hudson.
Jagdmann had no additional comment on her resignation outside of her resignation letter, which thanked the General Assembly for appointing her to the State Corporation Commission.
“It has been my honor and privilege,” Jagdmann said.
Former Commissioner Mark Christie, who sat on the board with Jagdmann before being appointed to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in 2020, lauded her work.
“It was a delight and an honor to serve 15 years with Judy,” Christie said. “She’s one of the most dedicated public servants I’ve ever met. She does public service in the fullest sense of the word – to serve the public.”
According to state code, the commission needs a two-member quorum to carry out its “judicial, legislative, and discretionary functions.”
However, in her resignation letter, Jagdmann stated she would be available for recall in January “to maintain a quorum and give the General Assembly the opportunity to elect a successor.”
The vacancy adds to pressure on the General Assembly over appointments to the commission following its failure in a one-day special session in September to appoint a judge to fill the seat previously held by Commissioner Angela Navarro, despite months of negotiations.
Complicating matters is the different approach both chambers took to ending the 2022 special session.
House Republicans adjourned the special session sine die, which would put the power of filling vacancies into the hands of Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin. But Senate Democrats did not adjourn from the special session in an effort to prevent Youngkin from appointing replacements.
The additional vacancy may create a path for the chambers to reach a compromise. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that House Republicans wanted Meade Browder, a senior assistant attorney general who has represented Virginia consumers before the SCC for years, to fill Navarro’s empty seat, while Senate Democrats wanted lobbyist Phil Abraham. Two vacant seats could allow each body to have its pick.
Macaulay Porter, press secretary for Youngkin, declined to comment.
This is a breaking story that will be updated as information becomes available.
Editor-in-Chief Sarah Vogelsong contributed to this report.
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