Utility Watchdog

New records policy to be adopted

Records kept by the state's utility watchdog will be stored permanently as computer files. Ohio Consumers' Counsel Janine Migden-Ostrander says the change in policy was brought on by the destruction of documents that cost the office's former chief his job. Migden-Ostrander also said her office will tolerate no gifts or free meals for employees. Such gifts also figured in the resignation of her predecessor, Robert Tongren, who resigned in November. Migden-Ostrander was sworn in on April fifth. Tongren's office last summer destroyed a report that questioned FirstEnergy's claim of almost nine (b) billion dollars in investments it was allowed to recover as part of the plan to deregulate Ohio's electric power industry. Migden-Ostrander says all records would be kept on paper until cases are resolved, then permanently stored on computer files.