APS CEO Don Brandt to receive award after woman’s death revealed

Pinnacle West CEO Don Brandt/YouTube

By Elizabeth Whitman | Phoenix New Times

One can only wonder how it must feel to be Don Brandt.

To sit at the helm of a powerful and, apparently, untouchable company. To take home more than $12 million in compensation last year alone.

To have the luxury of remaining silent, at least publicly, in response to news that the company he leads, Pinnacle West, and its main subsidiary, Arizona Public Service, are responsible for the death of one of its customers — the one that we know of — after cutting power to her home on a 107-degree day last September, all for $51.

And, to top it all off, to receive an award, precisely one week after that news broke, from the influential Arizona Chamber of Commerce, given to “individuals whose accomplishments and commitment to Arizona are recognized not only in Arizona but also nationally and internationally.” In previous years, that award has gone to the likes of Barry Goldwater, Sandra Day O’Connor, and John McCain. (Remember, this is the Arizona Chamber of Commerce.)

This year, protests are planned outside the Phoenix Art Museum, where the award dinner will be held on Thursday evening at 5 p.m. Advocacy groups Chispa Arizona and the Sierra Club are taking the lead on the protest, saying in a press release that they want to hold Brandt and APS accountable.

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