For Immediate Release | 3-12-19      
  Media Contact | Holly Ward      
  Direct | 602-542-3847      
  E-Mail | hward@azcc.gov      
         
 

Arizona Corporation Commission March Open Meeting Highlights

 
 
PHOENIX — The Arizona Corporation Commission today held its monthly Open Meeting to discuss various water, electric, railroad, and investor fraud agenda items. The five sitting Commissioners voted on the meeting's consent agenda items and discussed regular agenda items that will be voted on tomorrow. Here is a brief recap of the meeting highlights from day 1 of the March Open Meeting:

Commissioners vote to reduce regulatory burden for Global Water

Global Water owns multiple regulated utilities in Arizona. On November 28, 2018, Global Water filed an application on behalf of its utilities for Corporation Commission approval to eliminate certain compliance filings it deemed unnecessary, obsolete, and burdensome. These include unnecessary acquisition and compliance reports, duplicate rate case reports, and compliance requirements for a surcharge which no longer exists, among other items. During Tuesday's meeting, Commissioners agreed with the company's request to remove items from its regulatory reports.

All documents relating to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission's online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov and entering "18-0371" into the search box or by any one of the following docket numbers: W-20446A-18-0371, SW-20445A-18-0371, W-02450A-18-0371, W-03720A-18-0371, W-03936A-18-0371, W-01677A-18-0371, SW-20422A-18-0371, SW-20403A-18-0371, SW-20494A-18-0371, W-20495A-18-0371, or WS-04245A-18-0371.

Oak Creek Water Company No. 1 Emergency Rate Surcharge

Commissioners approved a 4-month emergency rate surcharge for Oak Creek Water Company due to an inoperable water well. On February 25, 2019, the company filed an application for an emergency rate surcharge. The Corporation Commission held a hearing on March 7, 2019, and received public comments in favor of approving the rate charge.

Oak Creek is an Arizona nonprofit owned and managed by its members. The company serves approximately 745 customers in a service territory encompassing one square mile located west of the city of Sedona, in Yavapai County, Arizona. Following today's decision, the company is required to file a rate case with the Corporation Commission no later than April 1, 2020.

All documents relating to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission's online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket number W-01392A-19-0042.

Union Pacific Railroad Company application modifications approved

Commissioners today approved two applications by Union Pacific Railroad Company to modify previous decisions by the Corporation Commission related to at-grade crossings in Pinal County. In the original decisions that approved upgrades to the eight crossings, the Commission required the railroad to file traffic count information every five years. Union Pacific made a motion to modify these decisions because they are not in the business of collecting traffic count information. Traffic count surveys, should they be needed, are easily accessible by the Corporation Commission's Safety Division and therefore Commissioners agreed with Union Pacific Railroad Company's motions to remove this requirement.

All documents related to this agenda item can be found in the Corporation Commission's online docket at https://edocket.azcc.gov and entering docket numbers RR-03639A-07-0519 and RR-03639A-07-0520.

Thomas P. Madden ordered to pay restitution for defrauding investors

The Commission ordered Thomas P. Madden of Chandler to pay $3,284,792 in restitution and a $75,000 administrative penalty for defrauding at least 79 people in connection with selling them stock in start-up companies. The Commission found that Madden told several people the company stock was bargain priced with likely upward potential while for several years the companies actually had no revenues and large financial losses. Additionally, the Commission found Madden did not disclose to potential investors that prior investors had sued him for selling worthless stock and that he had frequently borrowed money from stock purchasers but failed to repay the loans in full.

In settling this matter, Madden neither admits nor denies the Commission's findings, but agrees to the entry of the consent order. For more details about this case, view the full text of the Commission's order S-21042A-18-0059.

Michael Barry Eckerman, Pacific Capital Enterprises LLC, and Superior Diamond Management LLC

The Commission ordered Michael Barry Eckerman of Paradise Valley and his affiliated companies to pay more than $1.11 million in restitution and a $50,000 administrative penalty for committing securities fraud. The Commission found that Eckerman and Superior Diamond Management LLC fraudulently sold membership units in Pacific Capital Enterprises LLC, a Scottsdale-based company in the business of renting real estate for vacations and different types of events. The Commission found Eckerman made misrepresentations about the profitability of Pacific Capital and made material omissions to investors, including the fact that the Commission had taken prior action against Eckerman and another company he controlled.

In settling this matter, Eckerman, Pacific Capital Enterprises LLC, and Superior Diamond Management, LLC admit the Commission's findings for the purpose of this proceeding and agree to the entry of the consent order. For more details about this case, view the full text of the Commission's order S-21035A-17-0391.

The March Open Meeting will continue on Wednesday starting at 10 a.m. when Commissioners are expected to vote on regular agenda items and proposed amendments. A complete list of agenda items and a broadcast of the Commissioner's meeting is available on the Corporation Commission's website: https://www.azcc.gov/live.
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ABOUT US

The Arizona Corporation Commission was established by the state's constitution to regulate public utilities and business incorporation. The Corporation Commission is Arizona's co-equal, fourth branch of government. The five Commissioners elected to the Corporation Commission oversee executive, legislative, and judicial proceedings on behalf of Arizonans when it comes to their water, electricity, telephone, and natural gas resources as well as the regulation of securities, pipeline, and railroad safety. To learn more about the Arizona Corporation Commission and its Commissioners, visit https://www.azcc.gov.