Wednesday is the deadline for filings in the $16 billion dollar lawsuit filed by six consumers who contend a 1989 rate request approved for Southwestern Bell Telephone company was tainted by a bribed Corporation Commission vote more than a quarter of a century ago.
The six filed an appeal with the State Supreme Court last year after two members of the Corporation Commission voted down efforts of Commission chairman Bob Anthony to reopen the nearly 25-year old case.
It was in Feb. 2016 when Commissioners Dana Murphy and Todd Hiett voted not to join Anthony in reopening the PUD 260 rate case. In 1989, the commission on a 2-1 vote agreed to a rate increase for Southwestern Bell which later became ATT. However, commissioner Bob Hopkins was convicted along with a Southwestern Bell attorney in a bribery case that sent both to prison.
Since then, Corporation Commissioner Anthony along with six consumers, including former Oklahoma City FBI Director Bob Ricks have sought to get the case reopened. Others who made the filing were retired Tinker Air Force Base commander, Lt. General Richard Burpee; James Proctor, a former employee of the Corporation Commission; Ray H. Potts; former Nichols Hills Mayor Sody Clements; and businessman Rod Moesel.
This is the second time the case has been before the Supreme court. It was there in 2014 but the court ruled it had no jurisdiction to reconsider the rate hike and offered no legal opinion on the bribed vote.
In a filing made Tuesday, April 18, Commissioner Bob Anthony accused ATT in one of its filings of misleading the court about his previous statements.
“For the record, regarding the SW Bell case, I Commissioner Bob Anthony,have never in my life ‘agreed that the orders in PUD 260 were final.’ ”
He went on to state he believes the bribed PUD 260 order issued in September 1989 “is unconstitutional and invalid.”
While Anthony continues his fight against the bribed vote, the Corporation Commission in a March 2017 filing took a stand against him.
“Substantial evidence supports the Commission’s determination that the public interest is not served by reopening PUD 260—-” wrote Robert J. Campbell, Jr., Deputy General Counsel for the Commission in the March 20 filing with the Supreme Court.