Snyder names utility executive Khouri new Michigan treasurer; Clinton takes private-sector job

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday named a utility executive to succeed state Treasurer Kevin Clinton, who is leaving next month for a job in the insurance industry.

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Nick Khouri, senior vice president of corporate affairs at DTE Energy in Detroit, will be the third treasurer since the Republican governor took office in 2011. He starts April 20.

In the 1990s, Kouri was chief deputy treasurer in Republican Gov. John Engler's administration and chief economist of the nonpartisan Senate Fiscal Agency.

"Nick's expertise in tax policies and financial issues will be a great asset as we continue working to reinvent state government," Snyder said in a statement.

Clinton became treasurer in November 2013 after heading the state's insurance and financial regulatory agency since 2011. He will stay on until April 17 to help in the transition.

Under Snyder, the treasurer has had a more prominent role publicly because of the state's more aggressive intervention in Detroit and other deficit-ridden cities and school districts since the recession.

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Snyder said he was sorry to lose Clinton.

"Kevin served the state with honor and distinction as a key part of our team, dealing with many tough challenges including helping financially distressed cities and significant tax policy changes," Snyder said.

Clinton, an actuary by training, said when he took the position that he planned to help create a modeling system to predict years in advance if local governments and K-12 districts could be in financial trouble.

Before joining state government, Clinton was president and CEO of American Physicians Capital Inc., a medical professional liability insurance provider in East Lansing.