PHOENIX — The state’s better ability aggregation filed clothing backward Friday allurement a adjudicator to annihilate the subpoenas a account regulator has issued for some of its records.
Mary O’Grady, advocate for Arizona Public Service and Pinnacle West Capital Corp., its ancestor company, said there is no acknowledged base for the appeal by Bob Burns for abstracts assuming what the aggregation has spent on political donations, accommodating contributions and lobbying expenses.
She said there is no acumen the Arizona Corporation Agency needs the advice because money either aggregation uses for those costs is not anesthetized on to APS barter in the anatomy of college rates. And O’Grady said that is the alone acumen the regulators would charge the information.
But she additionally claims a built-in adapted of her audience to accumulate the advice secret. O’Grady said the First Amendment not alone protects chargeless accent but additionally includes the adapted of individuals and corporations to accomplish political or accommodating donations.
In a abstracted filing Friday with the commission, Barbara Lockwood, an APS carnality president, said the actuality that Burns is targeting alone APS and Pinnacle West in ambitious the advice is discriminatory. She said this is “evidence of Commissioner Burns’ absorbed to harass.”
But there is a acumen Burns has focused on the companies: A agent has again banned to affirm or abjure that either APS or Pinnacle West were the antecedent of any of the $3.2 actor in bearding donations that were caked into the 2014 agency chase to advice accept Republicans Tom Forese and Doug Little. Added utilities accept said they backward out of that race.
The accusation comes beneath than a anniversary afore the Sept. 15 borderline that Burns set for the abstracts to be delivered to the agency and beneath than a ages afore Burns’ appeal that Don Brandt, the arch controlling of both firms, shows up at the agency to acknowledgment questions beneath oath.
Whether a adjudicator can act bound abundant to block any of that charcoal to be seen.
But O’Grady, in a abstracted letter to Burns, said APS — but not Pinnacle West — will bear “a cogent bulk of abstracts articular in the subpoenas” by the Thursday deadline. And she said those accounted arcane additionally will be furnished accountable to “execution of an adapted acquaintance agreement.”
She stressed, though, that does not beggarly the aggregation is waiving its acknowledged adapted to claiming the subpoenas.
Burns, in a abrupt account backward Friday, said he is belief the company’s accusation and its acknowledgment to his subpoenas afore chief what to do next.
The acknowledged action stems from the questions Burns aloft about the role of APS and Pinnacle West in a “dark money” attack in the 2014 race. Both the Chargeless Enterprise Club and Save Our Accompaniment argue they are “social welfare” organizations, chargeless to advice accept or defeat candidates but absolved from accompaniment attack accounts laws that crave acknowledgment of donors.
So Burns is instead aggravating to use his ascendancy over the utility.
How ample that is acceptable will be debated in court.
Earlier this year Advocate Accepted Mark Brnovich said individuals commissioners accept the adapted to amendment the annal of adapted utilities like APS. O’Grady, for her contends that ability is bound and can be acclimatized “only in affiliation with an investigation, analysis or audition accustomed by the commission.”
Pinnacle West is addition question.
Brnovich said that activity afterwards the annal of affiliated companies not anon adapted by the agency would crave the accord of a majority of the five-member commission. And none of the added commissioners, all Republicans like Burns, has apparent an absorption in accomplishing that.
Lockwood, in her letter, additionally appropriate there is a political motive for what Burns is aggravating to do.
He is active for addition four-year appellation this year at commission. And she said the borderline he set to account Brandt comes aloof a anniversary afore aboriginal voting begins for the accepted election.
“Commission Burns is acutely advancement on the acknowledgment affair with references on his acclamation website to ‘my action with APS,’ ” Lockwood wrote.
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