Employee alleges racial discrimination, ‘political bullying’ by Arizona Public Service

Protesters against APS gathered earlier this summer outside Phoenix Art Museum./ Elizabeth Whitman

By Elizabeth Whitman | Phoenix New Times

In a damning complaint filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission, a self-identified Arizona Public Service employee said that the utility bullies its employees to vote in line with its interests, discriminates against minorities, and prioritizes profits above all else.

The letter filed on Wednesday, whose subject line included “Lack of Concern and Empathy for the Community that Suffers,” presented a wide range of concerns that depicted APS as a profit-focused political machine rather than an electric utility.

In addition to excoriating APS for “political bullying,” discrimination, and “more than questionable” hiring practices, the letter implied that senior APS leaders privately blamed the family of Stephanie Pullman, the 72-year-old woman who died of heat-related causes in her Sun City West home last September after APS cut her power on a 107-degree day, for her demise.

In the letter, the employee identified herself as an African-American female in the IT department. Her name and contact information were omitted or redacted in the formal complaint.

Phoenix New Timeshas not been able to confirm her status as an employee, but in a response to the letter, APS seemed to indicate that the woman was its employee. “APS does not comment on individual employee issues,” it said, adding that it does not comment on “investigations involving employees.”


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September 2019