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DETROIT (AP) _ CMS Energy Corp. on Thursday announced the appointment of Kinnie Smith Jr. as vice chairman and general counsel.

Smith succeeds Rodger A. Kershner, whose resignation was announced Wednesday.

Smith served on the company's board of directors from 1987 to 1996, when he retired to enter a private law practice.

CMS has been in flux since mid-May, when the company said an internal review found that its energy marketing unit made energy swaps that artificially inflated its revenues and expenses by more than $4.4 billion from May 2000 through mid-January 2002.

CMS Energy is the nation's fourth-largest combination gas and electric utility. It is the parent company of Consumers Energy Co., Michigan's largest utility.

CMS shares closed Thursday at $10.46 on the New York Stock Exchange, down 54 cents.

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On the Net:

CMS Energy Corp.: http://www.cmsenergy.com