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Arizona Regulators Vote Down Halting APS Rate Case

Arizona regulators will not halt a rate case for the state’s largest utility despite concerns raised by Corporation Commissioner Bob Burns that Arizona Public Service may have secretly spent millions to help elect several commissioners.

It was another day, another roadblock for Burns.

Burns wanted his fellow commissioners to affirm his subpoena power in order to have the utility hand over financial records related to its alleged dark money spending in 2014.

He wanted the judge overseeing the APS rate request to decide whether some commissioners should be disqualified because they benefited from that money.

He wanted APS executives to testify about political activities and spending.

He wanted to put the rate case on hold while all of that got hashed out.

But the rest of the commission shot down all of those requests, arguing, among other things, they’re overly-broad and burdensome, not relevant to the proposed rate hike and that Burns is impugning their reputation with no evidence.

The decision means that Burns will most likely have to go back to court and pursue his legal efforts there.

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.