Arizona Court: Emergency Manager Should Take Over Johnson Utilities

By Al Macias
Published: Friday, July 13, 2018 - 1:41pm
Updated: Friday, July 13, 2018 - 3:09pm
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
George Johnson.

A utility company with a history of sewage spills, low water pressure and other problems is facing a court order to give up management control. The court is recommending that Arizona regulators find an emergency manager to take over Johnson Utilities. 

Johnson Utilities provides water service to about 30,000 customers in southeast Maricopa and northern Pinal counties.

The Arizona Corporation Commission has received hundreds of complaints from customers about low water pressure and other problems. On Thursday, the court ruled regulators are justified and authorized to appoint a manager.

Under Arizona law the commissions must allow any respondents 10 days to challenge the court order, that deadline would be July 23.

Commissioners are scheduled to meet July 24 to determine the next course of action. In the meantime, commission staff is starting the informal process to find qualified managers to run the company on an interim basis if the commission should vote to do so.