Brandt will testify, asks for delay. But why?




    Pinnacle West and APS CEO Donald Brandt. Screenshot via YouTube

    Arizona Public Service CEO Don Brandt has told state utility regulators that he will face their questions in person at an upcoming meeting.

    But when he’ll do that remains up in the air, as Brandt has asked for a delay from the Aug. 7 date that the Arizona Corporation Commission requested he appear.

    Per Capitol Media Services:

    “I will make myself available to answer your questions,” Brandt said in a personally signed letter to the five members of the Arizona Corporation Commission.

    But Brandt told regulators he’s not sure he can be ready to answer all their questions by Aug. 7, the date they set to hear from him. So he is asking for “additional time to fully prepare the answers to your extensive questions.”

    Corporation Commission Chairman Bob Burns told Capitol Media Services he was amenable to a delay, and said he was likely to schedule Brandt to appear Aug. 28, instead.

    That delay would no doubt be welcome for Brandt and other executives of Pinnacle West, the parent company of APS, for reasons that go beyond his needing to prepare for the intense interrogation about APS’s political spending and its decision to shut off an elderly woman’s power on a hot day that caused her death.

    You see, Pinnacle West has its quarterly earnings call scheduled for Aug. 8. One can imagine that Brandt would love to avoid having investors pepper him and other company executives with questions about things he told utility regulators the day before.

    I wonder if the corporation commissioners are aware that delaying bad publicity before shareholders might be a motivating factor for Brandt seeking that delay.

    Jim Small
    Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications, the Yellow Sheet Report and Arizona Legislative Report. Under his guidance, the Capitol Times won numerous state, regional and national awards for its accountability journalism and probing investigations into state government operations.

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