Christie Nominates Director of Fracking Company to Rutgers Governing Board

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Governor Chris Christie nominated for Joseph M. Rigby, CEO of Pepco Holdings, a multi-divisional utility company, to be a public member of the powerful Rutgers Board of Governors.

Rigby's company provides electricity to Washington DC and the surrounding Maryland suburbs.

His six-year tenture as CEO, which began in 2009, has been marred with criticism over poor disaster preparedness and mismanagement.

Hundreds of thousands of residents were left without power as a result of heavy storms in 2010, with weather-related power outages becoming increasingly frequent.

A Washington Post analysis found that the aging infrastructure was responsible for many of the long, frequent power outages. 

Since 2014, he has been serving as the Director of Dominion Midstream Partners, a company that produces energy through coal mining and a controversial type of natural gas drilling known as "fracking." 

Rigby graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, before receiving an MBA from Monmouth University. He previously held management positions in Atlantic City Electric starting in 1979.

Rigby does not currently reside in New Jersey, and is a resident of Washington, DC, which would make him the fifth member of the 19-member board to reside outside. 

In addition to Joseph Rigby, Susan McCue and Mark Angelson are two other appointees of Governor Christie who reside out of state. McCue comes from Virginia while Angelson resides in New York. 

Public records show that his annual salary is $1.03 million, while his stock awards value at over $8.12 million. 

Under pressure from Senate President Steve Sweeney last year, Rutgers agreed to shrink the size of its Board of Trustees while increasing the Board of Governors from 15 members to 19 members. 

Christie's nomination of Rigby still requires the approval of the State Senate before it is confirmed.