In response to what he calls “last-minute changes to the ‘final orders’ and other deceitful statements made by Commissioners Todd Hiett and Kim David” on Thursday, April 20, 2023, Corporation Commissioner Bob Anthony on Thursday filed another 37-page dissent in the 2021 Fuel Cost and Prudence Review cases for the state’s three largest public utilities.
In his “Dissent, Part II,” Anthony augments and amplifies his earlier protest against the 2-1 “Black Thursday” vote and the orders declaring more than $6 billion of OG&E, ONG and PSO’s fuel procurement costs and expenses for 2021 to be “fair, just, reasonable and prudent” – costs and expenses that include the historically high natural gas prices paid during the February 2021 Winter Storm.
“Customers of Oklahoma’s largest public utilities have been fleeced billions of dollars through fraudulently manipulated natural gas prices, insider dealings, bidding irregularities, overcharges and special interest bailouts. In a series of 2-1 votes over the last two years, three different Corporation Commissioners not only let it happen, they have orchestrated and/or facilitated a massive cover-up,” he charged in the dissent.
Anthony said their ongoing obstruction of justice and transparency shows they know it was wrong.
” By the willful neglect of their official duties, sham prudence reviews, and ordered findings contrary to the weight of evidence and suspicious circumstances, they have turned the Oklahoma Corporation Commission into a kangaroo court,” declared Anthony.
Anthony contended in his dissent that the two other commissioners took part in a quasi-judicial process “swimming in unethical conduct and public corruption” because they never offered any explanation of the 2021 $6 billion in procurement costs and expenses for OGE, ONG and PSO.
Anthony then spends twenty pages dissecting what he calls the “astounding judicial garbage spewed forth” in Kim David’s concurring statements filed in the cases on April 20. He repeatedly denounces her for contradicting herself and “flip-flopping” on her legal arguments (sometimes multiple times in the same page), for her failure to cite authoritative legal opinions to support her own theories of the case, and for citing irrelevant Supreme Court decisions and reaching erroneous conclusions when she finally does.
Anthony, who has served 34 years on the Commission, used the dissent to attack new Commissioner Kim David for her vote to approve the February 2021 Winter storm costs.
David had asked the Attorney General to investigate whether natural gas market prices had been manipulated during the storm.
But during the recent vote, she stated, “There is nothing more to be investigated by the OCC because all investigations by the OCC and its staff have been thoroughly exhausted.” A statement that Anthony called another “flip-flop” because she just said only the Attorney General could investigate.
Anthony’s harshest criticisms come in response to David’s allegation that by referencing an Oklahoma Statute (21 O.S. § 540) against “Obstruction of a Public Officer,” Anthony has been “threatening criminal punishment by using an inappropriate statute” that David claims “is only applicable to law enforcement.” In response, Anthony offers a ten-page legal analysis of the statute, including the definition of a “public officer” that he says is not limited to “law enforcement” but pertains to “any public officer” including Corporation Commissioners. Anthony writes:
“I adopt a deadly serious tone because the consequences of anyone taking Commissioner David’s sophomoric paralegal pontificating seriously might reverberate throughout State Government with dire consequences. … Commissioner David has embarrassed herself. When it comes to 21 O.S. § 540, her half-page “analysis” is faulty, and her conclusion that the statute is only applicable to law enforcement is erroneous. …
“Is David publicly stating that delaying or obstructing Corporation Commissioners discharging the duties of their office is NOT a crime? Such a conclusion is not only UNTRUE, it is DANGEROUS,” wrote Anthony.