Corporation Commissioner Wants Johnson Utility Raid

An Arizona Corporation Commissioner is calling on his colleagues to hold an emergency meeting to authorize issuing a search and seizure warrant on Johnson Utilities, LLC. Johnson Utilities is accused of trying to avoid complying with a Corporation Commission order appointing EPCOR as an interim manager to run the company.

At an Open Meeting August 14, EPCOR’s Vice President of Corporate Services Shawn Bradford testified about hazardous and potentially catastrophic environmental conditions within some of Johnson Utilities’ facilities.

“The critical health and safety crises (EPCOR) advised us of last week go to the heart of why urgency and compliance were so imperative for the Commission from the outset,” wrote Commissioner Andy Tobin in a letter to fellow commissioners. “As a natural monopoly subject to the regulatory compact of the Arizona constitution, Johnson Utilities is and always will be subject to complete and total access by the Commission. There is no other body in the state that has this responsibility, and it is incumbent on us to exercise our duties to the public as clearly and quickly as possible during these most dire of times and circumstances.”

Johnson Utilities, LLC provides water and wastewater services in portions of Pinal and Maricopa counties. Customers have reported various troubling issues with their water service including poor water quality, low water pressure, sewage spills, and questionable billing practices.

Commissioners voted to appoint an interim manager to run the company on July 24, 2018, and a consulting agreement was finalized with EPCOR on August 1, 2018. Since that time, EPCOR reports it has not been granted access to Johnson Utilities’ financial accounts or some of its facilities.

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