Corporation Commission

Former state Rep. Justin Olson addresses the public after being sworn in last October as the newest member of the Arizona Corporation Commission. With him are fellow regulators Boyd Dunn, Tom Forese, Andy Tobin and Bob Burns.

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Corporation Commissioners declared an emergency Thursday and directed staff to investigate Johnson Utilities, LLC water and wastewater services.

The action came as a result of comments made during six public comment sessions Tuesday and Wednesday in Pinal County.

All five commissioners attended at least one of the six public comment meetings in San Tan Valley. During each two-hour session, commissioners listened to frustrated customers detailing a long history of poor customer service, billing, odor, and water quality concerns.

“Listening to the comments coming from customers and the community, it became very clear we needed to act fast,” said Chairman Tom Forese.

Commissioner Bob Burns opened Thursday's discussion asking for a staff investigation into water quality affecting health and safety, meter reading, and billing practices. Commissioner Boyd Dunn agreed and added his major concern was the health issues discussed during the public comment meetings.

Commissioner Andy Tobin raised concern with several customer comments suggesting they feared retaliation by the utility if they complained about their water and wastewater service. Commissioner Justin Olson agreed noting that there were far too many similar comments made throughout the meetings to be coincidental and suggested the Commissioners take immediate action.

Staff was directed to begin its investigation immediately and report back to Commissioners on or before the next commission meeting March 13.