Ruling: Commission can install interim manager for utility

March 7, 2019

PHOENIX (AP) — An appellate court’s ruling Thursday says the Arizona Corporation Commission has authority to appoint an interim manager for a water and wastewater utility’s operations in Maricopa and Pinal counties.

Johnson Utilities LLC argued that the commission lacked authority to interfere with its internal management by appointing the interim manager last year.

The court’s ruling explaining an earlier order said the commission’s broad ratemaking power under the Arizona Constitution and its powers under state law provide “sufficient authority to impose an interim manager under appropriate circumstances.”

However, the ruling said it’d be up to a trial court to decide whether circumstances supported the commission’s decision to install interim management for Johnson Utilities.

The commission had cited concerns with the company’s billing practices, financial management and the condition of its infrastructure.

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