Johnson Utilities lawyers tell judge ‘no’ on interim manager order

By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic

Johnson Utilities can’t be forced to turn over operations to an interim manager because doing so would interfere with the company’s ability to defend itself in lawsuits and take other actions that are the exclusive right of the owners, company lawyers argued Thursday.

The Arizona Corporation Commission last month ordered another water company, EPCOR USA, to step in as interim manager at Johnson Utilities because of a host of issues that have plagued the Pinal County water provider for years.

But Johnson has not allowed EPCOR to take over, and so the commission asked and received a restraining order last month from Pinal County Superior Court Judge Stephen McCarville.

The parties were back in his court Thursday, with the Corporation Commission lawyers asking McCarville to force Johnson Utilities to comply.


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