DES MOINES — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has appointed Jennifer Easler as consumer advocate for regulated utility issues.

Easler replaces Mark Schuling, who retired Jan. 10. Schuling had served as consumer advocate since January 2011.

“Jennifer is a proven leader, and she will be a strong, credible voice for Iowans to assure reasonable utility rates and erms,” Miller said. “For more than 20 years, she’s represented the public interest amid major changes in the energy and utilities industries.”

Easler’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the Iowa Senate.

Easler will oversee a staff of 14 people, comprising attorneys, technical specialists and support personnel. The office investigates all aspects of electric, natural gas, water and telecommunications services regulated by the Iowa Utilities Board. It also represent consumers and the public generally before state and federal courts and agencies.

Easler has been an attorney in the Office of Consumer Advocate since 1996 and served as interim director from June 2010 until January 2011. She co-chairs the Electric Committee for the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates.

Schuling, an attorney and a certified public accountant, had a distinguished career inside and outside of state government. He was appointed the director of the Iowa Department of Revenue in 2005 and served under Governors Vilsack and Culver before becoming consumer advocate in 2011.

“Mark was an exceptional consumer advocate for Iowans, and he retires with a long, impressive list of accomplishments,” Miller said. “He was a dedicated public servant and I will miss his wise counsel.”

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