We thought she didn’t know anyone over there.
On March 11, 2015, we sent our first records request to Commissioner Stump, and asked to see “public records that relate to communications by yourself [and] Policy Advisor Amanda Ho… about solar energy or net metering in Arizona with any representatives of Arizona Public Service Company or Pinnacle West Capital Corporation.” Our request covered the 17 months of two rate cases.
But Ms. Ho had no relevant emails with APS. This was during the time period when, under her boss the chairman’s leadership, Arizona became the first state to establish a monthly charge for APS rooftop solar customers.
She had no text messages with APS either. Although we know she and her boss, Bob Stump, exchanged 609 texts during the 17 month period.
And as far her calendar was concerned, Ms. Ho – or someone – had a field day with a black marking pen. When we counted up the number of her meetings that were redacted or hidden from the public, out of a total of 515 meetings, 166 were blacked out – 32%.
On August 5, we sent a letter to the Commission and pointed out that under Arizona Public Records Law § 39-121.01(D)(2), you cannot simply black out meetings but instead must provide an index of records or categories of records that have been withheld from your calendar and the reasons the records or categories of records have been withheld.
The response was definitive:
Who spends a third of their time at work on personal business? Will she be allowed to do that at APS?
Scott Peterson is executive director of the Checks and Balances Project, a national watchdog blog that seeks to hold government officials, lobbyists and corporate management accountable to the public. Funding for C&BP comes from pro-clean energy philanthropies and donors.