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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, December 4, 2006
CONTACT: Leah Mohr, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201

Public Utilities Commissioner Kolbeck Sworn In

PIERRE, S.D. -- South Dakota's newest Public Utilities Commissioner, Steve Kolbeck, was sworn into office by Justice Richard Sabers during a ceremony at the Minnehaha County Courthouse in Sioux Falls this morning.

Governor Mike Rounds appointed Kolbeck to the PUC post before the usual January date due to the early resignation of former PUC Commissioner Bob Sahr.

"It is an honor to be elected to this position by the people of South Dakota, and an honor to be appointed to the Commission early by Governor Rounds," said Commissioner Kolbeck. "I greatly appreciate the vote of confidence and I pledge to work hard for the people of this state in my position as PUC Commissioner."

"I would like to welcome Commissioner Kolbeck to the Commission, and look forward to serving with him," said Chairman Dusty Johnson. "I think that he, Gary, and I will make a good team and I am excited about the things that we will be able to get done for South Dakota in the next few years." 

"Steve is a bright, thoughtful man and I am certain he will be a dedicated commissioner," said Vice Chairman Gary Hanson. "His understanding of and experience in the telecommunications field will serve him well. He brings new ideas and a thoughtful approach to the work of the Commission. And his commitment to consumer protection is genuine."

Kolbeck most recently worked for Alliance Communications in Garretson where he was involved in various aspects of the telecommunications business. He has had several positions in the telecom business beginning with Northern Telecom, now Nortel Networks. He also worked for AT&T in Sioux City, Iowa and SDN Communications in Sioux Falls.

Kolbeck's experience in local government includes two years as a Brandon City Councilmember. He attended Northern State University and Mitchell Technical Institute, graduating with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Telecommunications.

Kolbeck is a native of Salem. He and his wife, Stacy, and their four children reside in Brandon. The family plans to move to Pierre in the coming months.

Commissioners are elected to the PUC for six-year terms. Hanson was elected in 2002; Johnson was elected in 2004.

Visit the commission's Web site at for more information on the PUC.

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