Arizona utility regulators may recommend jail time for Johnson Utilities’ managers

By Ryan Randazzo | Arizona Republic

Regulators on Tuesday discussed whether to notify the Pinal County Superior Court that Johnson Utilities is violating a court order, which they warned could result in the utility managers facing “incarceration.”

The five members of the Arizona Corporation Commission were frustrated to hear from the company running Johnson Utilities, EPCOR USA, that Johnson managers were not cooperating when repairs were needed.

EPCOR USA is overseeing Johnson Utilities following an order from a Pinal County Superior Court Judge in August 2018, directing Johnson Utilities to cede control of the water and wastewater utility to EPCOR. Judge Stephen McCarville’s order said those interfering with EPCOR could be subject to arrest.

While Johnson Utilities ultimately obeyed that court order, EPCOR officials told regulators in a recent report that Johnson’s owners “routinely” ask utility staff to work on non-utility projects, and that it has affected EPCOR’s ability to run the water and wastewater company.

A lawyer for Johnson’s owners denied that accusation.

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