By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times
Calling the process illegal, a utility regulator is asking the Arizona Supreme Court to void last week’s vote giving the state’s largest electric utility permission to immediately charge its customers an extra $7 a month.
Bob Burns, on the losing end of the 4-1 vote for the rate hike, claims the process followed by his colleagues did not comply with statutory and constitutional requirements for a full airing of all the relevant issues. Specifically, Burns contends he was denied the opportunity to determine what influence that campaign contributions by Arizona Public Service had on the others and whether that tainted their vote.
What all that means, he said is the high court must immediately void the rate increase as a violation of his rights and the constitutional duties of the other commissioners.