Court Says A Commissioner See APS Books, Can't Enforce Without A Subpoena

By Holliday Moore
Howard Fischer
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 - 9:40am

It appears members of the Arizona Corporation Commission have the right to request seeing the financial books of the state’s utility giant APS. But, forcing the company’s executives to provide them is another matter.

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that Corporation Commissioner Bob Burns has the individual right to ask for APS and its parent company Pinnacle West to disclose money spent – and may spend  – on electing a candidate favoring its policies.

However, because the other four commissioners have refused to enforce Burn’s subpoena the judge said the court does not have the legal authority to override the other commissioners’ votes.

The ruling – unless overturned – means Burns cannot see if the company was behind $3.2 million spent in 2014 to help elect Republican commissioners Tom Forese and Doug Little.

APS will neither confirm nor deny it was the source of those donations and claims it is protected from scrutiny under campaign finance laws protecting “social welfare” organizations.

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