Judge rejects APS move to get rate ruling before court decision

The Arizona Corporation Commission: Andy Tobin, Tom Forese, Doug Little, Boyd Dunn and Bob Burns./Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via PinalCentral

A judge on Wednesday rejected a bid by Arizona Public Service to let the Arizona Corporation Commission vote on the company’s rate hike request before he considers claims by one utility regulator that he has a right to question company executives about their political influence over the panel.

Utility attorney Mary O’Grady told Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Daniel Kiley that he cannot consider the legal bid by Bob Burns to subpoena APS officials until the pending rate case is completed. She said only after the commission acts on — and presumably approves — the deal in place involving 29 different parties can Burns contend he has a right to subpoena top utility officials.

But that would undermine Burns’ efforts to discover whether the utility, through its political spending on behalf of other commissioners, has improperly influenced them now that they are weighing how much more money to allow APS to collect from its customers.

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