Proposed law would curb Corporation Commission’s subpoena power

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

State lawmakers are moving to curb the ability of regulators to seek documents from some private companies because of a fight with one firm that doesn’t want to cough up the information.

SB 1145, given preliminary House approval Monday, would allow anyone who gets a subpoena from the Arizona Corporation Commission to object to it and challenge it in court. It also would allow the company to claim that some of what the commission wants is a trade secret.

Commission lobbyist Nick Debus said that could result in delays of months, if not longer, in shutting down frauds and schemes that are taking the money of Arizona residents.

More significant, Mark Dinell, the commission’s securities director, said it effectively gags his agency.

“It stop us from warning the public if something is going wrong,” he said.

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