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Regulator Calls For A Temporary Halt In APS Rate Case

An Arizona regulator would like a rate case for the state’s largest utility to be put on hold.

Corporation Commissioner Bob Burns made that emergency request on Friday.

Writing that the commission faces unprecedented problems and cascading legal violations, Burns urged the administrative judge overseeing Arizona Public Service’s rate case to halt all proceedings.

That is, until the issues swirling around the case are resolved.

That includes Burns subpoena of campaign finance records from the 2014 election cycle. It’s widely believed APS or its parent company funneled about three million dollars in so-called dark money to elect two current commissioners.

Those two — the former chairman Doug Little and the current one Tom Forese — Burns claims could also be disqualified from ruling on the rate increase because of the appearance of bias.

He says these outstanding questions need to be settled, in order to avoid a possibly unfair and unconstitutional ruling for ratepayers. So far, Burns has faced pushed back from the rest of the commission for his legal fight with APS.

Will Stone grew up with the sounds of public radio. As a senior field correspondent, he strives to tell the same kind of powerful stories that got him into the business — whether that means trudging through some distant corner of the Sonoran Desert or uncovering an unknown injustice right down the street. Since joining the KJZZ newsroom in 2015, he has covered political scandals, fights over the future of energy, and efforts to care for some of Arizona’s most vulnerable communities. His pieces have also aired on national programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Here & Now and Marketplace. Before coming to KJZZ, he reported for public radio stations in Nevada and Connecticut. Stone received his degree in English literature from Haverford College, where he also wrote about the arts and culture scene in Philadelphia. After graduating, he interned at NPR West in Culver City, California, where he learned from some of the network’s veteran reporters and editors. When he doesn’t have a mic in hand, Stone enjoys climbing mountains, running through his central Phoenix neighborhood and shamelessly promoting his cat, Barry.