Whistleblower Levels Claims Against Former Arizona Corporation Commission Chair

February 23, 2015 By Linda Hardesty

arizonaThe Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) made the news in 2014 for seeming to support the utility Arizona Public Service (APS) in attacks against solar energy and energy efficiency programs. Supporters of solar and energy efficiency said the ACC’s desire to gut such programs made no economic sense. Now, the Arizona Republic is reporting that an ACC staffer, acting as a whistleblower, alleges the former head of the ACC may have held off-limits meetings with the CEO of APS.

The whistleblower sent a letter to the ACC and the Arizona Attorney General’s office, claiming, among other things, that former Commissioner Gary Pierce attended lunch meetings with APS’ CEO Don Brandt in violation of commission rules, which bar conversations between commissioners and the people appearing before them in cases that set electric rates.

Pierce retired at the end of 2014. Current Commission Chairwoman Susan Bitter Smith said the allegations will be investigated.

Photo: Arizona via Shutterstock

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