Despite Commission Vote, Arizona Regulator To Move Forward With Dark-Money Inquiry

Published: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 4:39pm
Updated: Wednesday, March 15, 2017 - 3:03pm
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Arizona regulators have decided to stop paying for a long-running legal fight against the state’s largest utility.

On Tuesday, the Arizona Corporation Commission voted 3-1 not to fund Commissioner Bob Burns' latest effort to get Arizona Public Service and its parent company Pinnacle West to disclose whether it was behind alleged dark money spending in 2014 to help elect Commissioners Tom Forese and Doug Little.

But that doesn’t mean Burns is going to stop trying to get to the bottom of the issue.

"They have refused to comply with the subpoenas, so in order to get compliance we need to go to court,” Burns told KJZZ following the meeting.

The commission had initially agreed to pay for Burns’ legal fees because the utility had sued him after he issued his subpoenas. Now APS has dropped that suit, and Burns has filed a new lawsuit to make the utility disclose the records.

He said his lawyers will work on the case pro bono, at least until he finds a way to get the commission to pay.

Burns suggested he may even pursue a legal action against the commission to make that happen.

"There could be a suit filed against the commission to get them to live up to their responsibility to fund my actions," Burns said.

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