MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) – FairPoint Communications Inc. has named a former Vermont legislator and secretary of administration to be the company's new state president.

In the newly created position, Michael Smith will be responsible for all regulatory matters, government relations and economic development in Vermont.

He begins the job Jan. 4.

FairPoint is creating similar positions in Maine and New Hampshire that will be filled in the weeks ahead.

North Carolina-based FairPoint last year bought Verizon Communications' landline and Internet operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

It has been suffering under a heavy debt load and technology problems and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October.

Earlier this month, FairPoint asked for more time to file its bankruptcy reorganization plan. The troubled telecommunications company will submit the plan by Jan. 15 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York.

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