The board of state-owned utility Santee Cooper named a circuit judge from Hartsville as its new top in-house lawyer at it meeting Monday in Pinopolis.

J. Michael Baxley, 57, was named senior vice president and general counsel for the Moncks Corner-based water and power provider effective July 1.

He will replace James E. Brogdon, who retires June 30.

Baxley has been a practicing attorney in South Carolina since 1982, and was elected resident judge for the 4th Circuit by the General Assembly in 2000. He is responsible for the criminal and civil dockets in Darlington, Marlboro, Dillon and Chesterfield counties.

Previously, he was managing partner of Driggers & Baxley law firm in Hartsville.

He also was a member of the state House of Representatives from 1986-98.

Baxley has a bachelor's degree from Clemson University and a law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law.

Santee Cooper's meeting agenda also included a construction update about the $10 billion expansion at the V.C. Summer Nuclear Station. At its last board meeting in January, the utility approved the $500 million sale to Cayce-based SCANA Corp. of a partial stake in the Midlands project.

The revised deal will increase SCANA's ownership of the two new reactors being built at V.C. Summer to 60 percent from 55 percent. Santee Cooper's portion will fall to 40 percent.

The sale to South Carolina Electric & Gas Co.'s parent will unfold over three years and likely won't be finalized until about 2021.