Gov. McCrory's Utilities Commission Appointments Approved

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The House has confirmed two appointments of Gov. Pat McCrory to the North Carolina Utilities Commission and a third to represent consumer interests before the regulatory panel.

The chamber voted unanimously Wednesday for giving Rep. Jerry Dockham of Denton and Greensboro public relations consultant James Patterson six-year terms on the commission. Dockham recused himself from the vote.

The House then backed the appointment of Apex attorney Chris Ayers as executive director of the commission's public staff.

Ayers will succeed Robert Gruber, who's served in the position for 30 years. Ayers was approved 112-4 after Democratic Rep. Paul Luebke of Durham questioned his work history representing utilities and businesses before the commission. Republicans came to Ayers' defense.

The appointments now head to the Senate.