New evidence about Commissioner Bob Stump’s phones provided by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) demonstrates that he may have lied about his phones.
We’ve gone from the silly (his claim that it took 46 text messages with Scott Mussi of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club to arrange a “double-date to the symphony”), to the questionable (his assertion that 28% of redacted meetings on his public calendar were “personal”), to what now looks like a pattern of deception.
Two months ago, Commissioner Stump told the Arizona Republic, “Regarding the iPhone3, I used it for something like four years” and “it was literally crumbling in my hands and was not recyclable.” He told the Arizona Capitol Times that “my iPhone 3 had limited capacity” so he deleted text messages to make space for photos. In October 2014, he threw it away, rather than turn it back in to the Commission, and started using an iPhone 5 that he claims was issued to him “much earlier,” but was inexplicably not activated for months.
Since we know that text messages can be downloaded from a phone – even if the owner tried to delete them – we wondered, why was there no iPhone 4? Also, why would someone possess a new phone with superior and faster software and not activate it for months?
So we recently asked the Commission if it would send us all written communications with Verizon about Stump’s phones and any other devices. They sent us 26 emails. We suspected that there were more, so we asked them to “look again.”
They sent us 12 more emails.
Where Is It?
The new emails reveal for the first time that Stump also had an iPhone 4 and a tablet with another phone number. So what happened to them? And why were they not revealed until now?
The Commission’s outside counsel, David Cantelme, running up a monthly bill paid by Arizona tax payers to defend the Commissioner, was explicit in his explanation of Stump’s phones when he wrote our attorney, Dan Barr, on June 15. He wrote:
But that turned out not to be true. In response to our suggestion that they look again, the ACC sent us a letter on Sept. 18 with this chart confirming the iPhone 4 and the tablet:
Assuming that Mr. Cantelme asked Stump about his phones, was Stump confused or lying? Was he messaging from his tablet? And where is Stump’s iPhone 4?
Ho Goes to APS
Then, there’s the case of Stump’s now-former Policy Aide Amanda Ho. We included her in our initial records request on March 11, 2015. But over the 17-month period that comprised our request, Ms. Ho asserted she had no relevant emails with APS, no text messages with APS, and the 32% of meetings on her public calendar that she redacted were “personal.” Earlier this month, she left her job as Stump’s senior advisor to work at APS.
What is truth and what is fiction?
Now that we have clear and definitive evidence that he has or had an iPhone 4 and a tablet about which he had not been forthcoming, it’s hard to know what to believe. Unless he has a coherent explanation, Commissioner Bob Stump needs to resign. He has lost all credibility.
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.