Johnson Utilities L.L.C. had filed a motion seeking special action relief from the Arizona Corporation Commission’s order appointing a third-party interim manager (EPCPR) to conduct Johnson Utilities’ operations. It argued that "the Commission lacked authority to interfere with the internal management of a public service corporation, and therefore that the Commission lacked jurisdiction to issue the interim management order".
Judges Peter B. Swann, Kenton D. Jones and Judge David D. Weinzweig however disagreed.
"Both the Commission’s broad ratemaking power under Ariz. Const. art. 15, § 3, and its statutorily delegated power to determine a “just” remedy for “inadequate” publicutility equipment, facilities, or services under A.R.S. § 40-321(A), provide the Commission with sufficient authority to impose an interim manager under appropriate circumstances," they stated in their order.
The March 7, 2019 decision also states "It is for the superior court, however, to decide whether the circumstances in this case supported the Commission’s authority to issue the interim management order".
The decision states, "Subject to the substantive limitations of the managerial interference doctrine, both Ariz. Const. art. 15, § 3, and A.R.S. § 40-321(A) provide the Commission jurisdiction to impose an interim manager for a public service corporation."