Court Orders Review Of Arizona Corp Comm's Conduct On Smart Meter Study

By Holliday Moore
Howie Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 8:42am
Updated: Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 8:54am

The state Court of Appeals is ordering a Sedona man's case against the Arizona Corporation Commission be reviewed.

After reading a 2014 Arizona Department of Health report claiming radio waves emitted from "Smart Meters" could affect human physiology, Warren Woodward asked utility regulators at the Arizona Corporation Commission for more details.

Woodward said he received the documents with words, sentences and pages redacted. When he sued for the unedited version, the acting judge barred him from sharing the details.

In those details, Woodward was alarmed to find the Corporation Commission appeared to be consulting with the independent researchers.

The Corporation Commission, he said, appeared to have "their fingerprints all over the study from beginning to end."

Woodward believed they directed the study telling researchers, "in so many words, this is what we're looking for."

The documents revealed commissioners had a final meeting with the independent researchers to approve the language before it went public.

"Anybody reading this stuff can see what was going on," Woodward said. "It's irregular behavior. It's not how you do something when one agency is asking for a study. It's not how you do it."

The Court of Appeals ruled unanimously this week that the gag order on Woodward was an infringement on his First Amendment rights.

The three judge panel ordered the lower court judge who imposed it to revisit the case and determine whether the commission improperly withheld public documents.

If so, the commission must pay all of Woodward's legal expenses.

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