Arizona: Chief regulatory agency judge admits she doesn’t know what she’s doing



Information & Perspective by Warren Woodward
Sedona, Arizona ~ February 17, 2018

Would you have confidence in getting a fair trial if, on the first day, the judge opened up with, “I’ve never had a proceeding like this, I ask for everyone’s patience as we figure out how to proceed.”

“… As we figure out?” We?! Isn’t figuring out how to proceed something the judge should do before showing up?

Jane Rodda is an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) at the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), and is the ALJ overseeing the formal complaint against Arizona Public Service (APS) regarding APS’s recent rate increase granted by the ACC. The complaint, which was brought about via a petition organized by APS customer Stacey Champion, seeks a rehearing of the rate case since, for many customers, rates are up way more than the “minimal 4.5% increase” that APS and the ACC touted.

Jane Rodda has been a lawyer for 28 years and at the ACC for 23 years.

Jane Rodda is not just an ALJ. Jane Rodda heads the entire Hearing Division at the ACC. She is Chief ALJ.

Champion’s petition was filed on the 3rd of last month. On the 15th of this month, a Procedural Conference was held regarding the petition’s complaint. So Rodda had six weeks to get her act together but instead came to the Conference unprepared, admitting: “I’ve never had a proceeding like this, I ask for everyone’s patience as we figure out how to proceed.”

After 7 years of exposing incompetence (among other things!) at the ACC, I don’t know why I am amazed but I am. The ACC is just unbelievable.

I guess the good news is that she did not dismiss the case, although that’s still an option since she did not rule on APS’s Motion to Dismiss yet. My prediction is the case will proceed so that the ACC can continue its longstanding pretense of listening to the public, but Rodda will eventually conclude the case in APS’s favor so that the ACC can continue its longstanding practice of screwing the public.

As someone who signed Champion’s petition, I am a party to the case. As such, I filed a Declaration of Support last Monday. Using a screenshot from my account at the APS website, I show the monthly kWh I used and what that cost a year ago compared to the kWh I used and what that cost this past month when the so-called “minimal 4.5% rate increase” was in effect. You can see my math at the actual filing here:

Short story even shorter: my rate increased not 4.5% but 16.8%. My usage actually decreased by 9.88%. The point is, not only am I being ripped off but there is no way I can reasonably conserve enough electricity to offset the increase. I am fortunate in that I can afford to give APS more money to waste on executive pay (e.g., CEO = $19M/yr. [$19 million per year]) and boondoggles like “smart” meters (100s of million$). However, there are many people who cannot afford to give APS more money. I don’t know how the culprits in this colossal scam can sleep at night. I guess anything’s possible without a conscience.

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