New PUC Chief Counsel Appointed

August 08, 2019

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today announced the appointment of Chief Counsel Renardo “Rick” L. Hicks, effective August 12.

Hicks comes to the Commission with more than 30 years of legal experience, including extensive service in the government sector, private practice and telecommunications industry.

As chief counsel, Hicks will lead the PUC’s Law Bureau, which provides legal support to the Commissioners and various Commission bureaus on regulatory issues involving public utilities and other legal matters involving the PUC.  Attorneys from the Law Bureau also represent the Commission in cases heard by state and federal courts and help formulate PUC input to federal agencies, the courts and the legislature when public utility issues arise.

Hicks comes to the PUC with a deep background in public protection. At the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General – where he was Executive Deputy Attorney General and Director of the Public Protection Division – Hicks guided legal matters related to consumer protection, civil rights, antitrust, and charitable trusts and estates.

He has also represented the interests of consumers in rate cases and complaints heard by the PUC, as an assistant consumer advocate, and is a past member and chair of the PUC’s Consumer Advisory Council, which advises the Commissioners on matters relating to the protection of consumer interests.

Additionally, Hicks also brings to the PUC his experience as regional vice president and regulatory counsel for XO Communications, with legal and regulatory responsibilities covering Pennsylvania and several other states – along with private practice addressing state and federal issues involving public utilities, governmental entities, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations.

A resident of Harrisburg, Hicks received his bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College, his law degree from Northeastern University School of Law and a master’s degree in clinical legal education from Temple University School of Law.

Hicks replaces long-serving PUC Chief Counsel Bohdan “Buck” Pankiw, who retired on July 5.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

Visit the PUC’s website at for recent news releases and video of select proceedings. You can also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. Search for the “Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission” or “PA PUC” on your favorite social media channel for updates on utility issues and other helpful consumer information.

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Nils Hagen-Frederiksen

Press Secretary


Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
Press Office
P.O. Box 3265, Harrisburg, PA 17105-3265
(717) 787-5722 FAX (717) 787-4193