APS political spending records to remain secret for now

By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

A judge is refusing to force the state’s largest electric company to turn over its records of political spending to a utility regulator, at least not yet.

In a new order, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge James Kiley did not address the assertion by Bob Burns that he has powers as a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission to compel the production of documents by Arizona Public Service and parent company Pinnacle West Capital Corp.

But the judge said it is premature for him to rule on Burns’ request that he order the records produced. Instead, he said that Burns first needs to ask the full commission to compel the utility and its parent to produce the documents.

Only after the commission rules on that request, Kiley said, will it be appropriate for him, as a judge, to intercede.

The ruling is at least an interim victory for APS and Pinnacle West who have objected to giving Burns the documents he wants — documents he said will show whether the companies were behind more than $3 million in anonymous donations that led to the 2014 election of Republicans Tom Forese and Doug Little to the commission.

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