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Newfoundland and Labrador ends probe of regulator

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Newfoundland and Labrador ends probe of regulator

The government of Newfoundland and Labrador ended its investigation into the CEO of its utilities regulator after the previously suspended official resigned.

Andy Wells, former chairman of the Board of Commissioners of Public Utilities, tendered his resignation to the government's Department of Justice and Public Safety on Aug. 4. Minister Andrew Parsons, who heads the department, said in an Aug. 8 statement that further investigation was unwarranted. Vice Chair Darlene Whalen has been named chair and CEO on an interim basis.

"Andy Wells advised the Department of Justice and Public Safety of his resignation and retirement on Aug. 4," Parsons said. "Rather than expending further resources on this matter, we are moving forward."

Wells was suspended with pay from his post in June amid a probe into his public comments on Nalcor Energy Corp.'s embattled Muskrat Falls hydro project. Wells told the Canadian Broadcast Corp. that the remarks were made while he was mayor of the capital city of St. John's. He suggested to a councilor that the city should request intervenor status at a hearing on the project, the broadcaster reported on its website.

Wells has since announced his intent to run for mayor of St. John's in an upcoming fall election. Parsons said a permanent replacement for Wells will be named by the province's Independent Appointments Commission.