The APS ACC Team: Sunday’s Comic

Arizona Corporation commissioners Doug Little, Andy Tobin, Tom Forese, Boyd Dunn

Arizona Corporation Commission’s Ethics Committee Has Ethical Issues

Last week, the Arizona Corporation Commission hosted the first meeting of the newly formed Ethics Committee. The committee was created by Commissioner Tom Forese this summer due to the persistent and multi-faceted charges of unethical behavior on the part of commissioners.

Even before the committee convened, it was the subject of questions about its own ethical foundation. Specifically, Commissioner Bob Burns has questioned the cost and constitutionality of such a committee.

Burns, an ethics hawk, has worked to expose and end the undue influence of campaign contributions on commissioners. He has argued that because the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) was created to be a quasi-judicial body that oversees monopolistic public utilities, any real or perceived influence of contributions on commissioners would violate their basic job duties.

Every step of the way his fellow commissioners have fought Burns.

Burns and many others claim that the majority of commissioners have become “captives” of Arizona Public Service (APS) due to the inordinate amount of money the corporation spent on the 2014 election. “Captives” act on behalf of and in the interest of their captors. In the case of the ACC, the “captive” commissioners appear to be protecting the interests of the corporation by fighting Burns’ effort to make public those contributions.

Just last month, the “captive” commissioners stunned the public when they approved a rate increase for APS. Burns had urged his fellow commissioners to join his fight to have the corporate giant reveal its contributions before a rate increase could be considered.

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1 Comment

  1. It would seem that the AZ Corporation Commission is a wholly owned subsidiary of AZ Public Service. Whatever party affiliation you may have, the challenge for citizens is to reverse a corporate takeover of our elections and of our elected officials.
    The AZ Corporation Commission stands for crude power that concedes nothing, scorns civility, and conducts its business in darkness. With its thinly veiled authoritarianism and blatant perversion of the democratic process, the Arizona Corruption Commission is a shining example of why members of the general public have little trust and much disgust toward those in public office whose double standards and hypocrisy are so evident
    From my email of Sept 5th to the ACC Director, Commissioners, Attorney General, and legislators:
    I have requested several times that any one of you meet with me in person. I have offered several times my willingness to work with any of you on ways to improve the consumer complaint process. All such requests have gone unanswered. I believe a personal dialogue would have resulted in much less communications than that by email, no doubt a better understanding, and quite possibly a different outcome. I would now welcome to opportunity to have a discussion with you about “ethics.” With your planning to determine what ethics policies should be in place, I would suggest that you begin by responding to legitimate questions that I have asked concerning my complaint and by agreeing to meet with me in person as I have requested several times. Perhaps you might want to serve the public interest, not your own personal interest. Maybe you might want to treat campaign contributors and lobbyists no better than the taxpayers and ratepayers. This is not just a matter of ethics, but a matter of respect and common courtesy. Equally important, it is an obligation

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