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Woodward Wins ACC Public Records Case on Appeal

Sedona AZ (October 4, 2017) – The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:

Woodward Wins ACC Public Records Case at Court of Appeals
Information and Perspective by Warren Woodward
Sedona, Arizona ~ October 4, 2017

       

Warren Woodward of Sedona AZ wins his ACC smart meter Court of Appeals case and is awarded court fees and costs in a surprise decision.

Longtime readers may recall I made a public records request of the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) regarding documents and emails concerning the “smart” meter health study that the ACC asked the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) to perform. The ACC redacted stuff they had no legal right to redact. They even invented a redaction classification that does not exist under Arizona law, “state of mind.”


          Worse, at the same time I also made a public records request of the ADHS. In the ADHS’s response, I found a revealing email exchange between the head of the ADHS and the head of the ACC that was not in the documents I got from the ACC. In other words, the ACC hid it from me. In that exchange, the head of the ACC was prejudicing the study from the start by telegraphing the type of study the ACC wanted (favorable to “smart” meters). Remarkably, the head of the ADHS responded that he knew “intuitively” that “smart” meters were safe. So much for objective science. The ADHS study went downhill from there.

          After getting blown off by the Citizen Ombudsman Office (don’t ever waste your time on them!) and the state Attorney General (another waste of time), I took the ACC to Superior Court.

          I’m trying to keep this short so won’t go into all the details, but the Superior Court judge botched the case six ways to Sunday. Basically, in a surprising and highly unusual move, the judge gave me all the documents in unredacted form, but told me they were for my eyes only. Then later in the case, he asked me to show why they were not legal (even though the burden of proof was on the ACC to show why they were legal).

         

Actual ACC redacted copy delivered to Woodward did not match another copy of same document sent by another agency.

So I went through each illegal redaction and cited specific examples, and then the judge busted me for violating his gag order. In other words, he had set me up.

          On top of that, the judge then dismissed the case saying I could keep the records he gave me, but not share them. That’s called “prior restraint” and big, big 1st Amendment no-no. So I filed an appeal in the Court of Appeals, and yesterday they ruled in my favor. Their decision is here.

          Although I never asked for my costs, the Court of Appeals awarded me my court filing fees and process server cost which total $544. Unlike a lawyer, I don’t get paid for my time, but getting those costs back is better than nothing. And of course winning is the main thing.

          I don’t know why they’d bother but the ACC can appeal this to the Arizona Supreme Court, and the case has actually been “remanded” back to the Superior Court, but in my opinion that judge’s hands are pretty much tied by the Court of Appeals’ decision.

PS – Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services picked up this story. That article is here: http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/10/03/sedona-arizona-smart-meters-corporation-commission-warren-woodward/

Warren Woodward
Sedona AZ

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17 Comments

  1. Eddie Maddock says:

    Wow Warren. Congratulations! For once tenacity reaped a reward but at what a price. Your time and effort remain priceless and I for one am appreciative of your efforts and diligence.

    Great job and thank you!!

    Eddie

  2. Tony T says:

    Good job Warren!

    I to have been ignored by the Arizona Attorney Generals office on another matter. I handed them the case and evidence of violation, but they chose not to look into it.

  3. Jim Poole says:

    Awesome! Congrats!!!

  4. @ Tony T says:

    Tony T- you must be kidding to compare yourself to a trailblazer like Warren Woodward. I but your “other matter” was BS and the AG realized what you gave them was to further your own agenda.

    Warren is looking out for the betterment of all Sedona people, no personal agenda just a lot of caring for others. \

  5. @Tony T says:

    Tony was that matter the great ” a city worker cashing his truck at lunch caper” or the two cops taking to each other for 5 minutes caper?

    Your on it Tony

    Whatever the cimcimstances…… I’m sure AZ Attorneys Generals office got a good laugh…I’m also sure your reputation in that office is as good as your reputation around Sedona(laughing stock).

  6. Tony T says:

    No, it had a lot to do with no bid, no performance standard contracts, like the one given to the Chamber of Commerce.

    It also had to do with no bid contracts given to the Hub, where the city gifts them the use of the building, pays them to manage it and them keep any profits. Would any one else in the city be interested in that kind of a deal?

    Both seem like misuse of taxpayer funds. More so than using a city vehicle to do personal business while on the city payroll, but along the same lines.

    We need more people on it. Call Brenda Barton, your state Representative, she has a complete file. .Speak to her aide, Andrea Allen (602) 926-4129. Tell her Tony told you to call. Have her make the Arizona Attorney General do something. They will just ignore one person. I know, I called enough times.

  7. ESM says:

    Warren – please tell me. Are my eyes deceiving me? Is that picture different from the first one accompanying your good news? If so it’s understandable because this image more appropriately reflects the upbeat tone of your success. (couldn’t resist)

    ~Eddie

  8. T. O'Neill, Elkridge says:

    My bro-in-law in Sedona sent this and we’ll send to neighborhood group working on electric company overreach. (Jared keeps lots of us on a shared email list) Way to go man!!!!

  9. Tony T = (deleted by editor) says:

    You know something Tony, if you really wanted to do some real good for this town, you should join forces with that other “know it all” J Ricky and help Warren Woodward. Warren is really on to real corruption on a higher level than you handle.

  10. Josh del Sol says:

    Lots going on behind the scenes, as the InPower team here is growing and we press into Phase 2.

    Here’s a new conversation with Max Igan, Cal and myself discussing the power of the Liability Action.

    This piece helps put into simple terms what the action is, how & why it works, and also adds new depth with insight from Cal.

    Here’s the link: http://inpowermovement.acemlnb.com/lt.php?s=bcb8e9e575a3a32e0eff72a4bfab7792&i=61A107A1A309

    Our most pressing need right now is building out the Ground Crew aspect of the organization, which is now over 250 strong. As our core team is quite overloaded, we seek several inspired people to help as Ground Crew Coordinators, to help onboard, train and lead the vibrant team of volunteers.

    If you want to volunteer in this particular role or want to know more — and if you share our vision, passion, and can commit to 10+ hours per week — we want to hear from you!! Here’s the form:

    https://inpowermovement.com/volunteer

    And if you have already filled out this form and are interested in being a Ground Crew Coordinator, please send an email here:

    mailto:groundcrew@inpowermovement.com

    Onward,
    Josh, Cal & the team
    InPower Movement
    14241 NE Woodinville Duvall Rd
    Unit 339
    Woodinville, Washington
    United States

  11. Warren says:

    Eddie, your eyes are working fine. I requested the change when I saw the other picture.

  12. Tony T says:

    I do so appreciate your brave anonymous attacks and name calling. To know someone like yourself will lose access to taxpayer funds Inspires me to keep working to protect the taxpaying citizens of Sedona. With enough motivation from you I may even run for office. Can you imagine your life with me as Mayor?

    I’m retired with many far more enjoyable pursuits than fighting the corruption and waste in the city and fire department . There are some good people working in both. You can tell by out out of line the actual and projected budgets are in the city. The fire department spends every penny , because, safety, safety. I don’t blame the fire fighters for that.

    Please, continue the name calling. It’s so ridiculous it indicates you have no real argument.

  13. Yes please Tony T. says:

    Please run Tony T. You’d have my vote!

  14. Mrs Roger Thomas says:

    Tony you wanted someone with a real name well, now you have one, ME!

    You as Mayor not hardly. I mean wasn’t it you that said that owners in your HOA are selling and getting the heck out of Dodge (my paraphrase)

    If you ran for mayor, you’d actually have to spend your own money and your neighbors have told me that you are tighter then anyone that they ever met.

  15. Tony T says:

    @Mrs Roger Thomas

    Owners in my HOA are selling because of the high taxes and traffic in Sedona. I have not been president for a few years now. The HOA did not want me to quit, but I felt my job was done. I’m not into power, I do try and make my home a little better place. .

    Thank you for the compliment on my being frugal. While I was involved in the HOA I was instrumental in capping the HOA fund. Now members in our HOA only pay dues when the fund balance goes below a certain level. Unless we spend our HOA funds to do the City of Sedona’s job and repair our own roads, which we had to do a few years ago, HOA members only pay annual dues about every 3 years. That also prevents having a big pile of money sitting around that someone always feels the need to spend.

    I think people should be able to keep their own money,

    Thank you for you endorsement for me as Mayor.

  16. Sandy & friends, Sedona says:

    Thanks for those of us supporting no smart meters any where any time. Sedona needs to stand up. Sandy & Karen & Larry & Dan & Mark & Joan

  17. Eddie Maddock says:

    Hey you guys, wise up and grow up. This column is about an amazing accomplishment by Warren Woodward. Your childish display of bad temper is disrespectful. If you check back at the comments, Tony T, subject of your tirades, initially paid appropriate tribute to Mr. Woodward for accomplishing something that was almost like mission impossible. He broke through the chain of command and prevailed, by himself, in an issue before the Arizona Superior Court – specifically “Warren Woodward of Sedona AZ wins his ACC smart meter Court of Appeals case and is awarded court fees and costs in a surprise decision.”

    Mr. Woodward isn’t the first person to have been blown off by the AZ Attorney General’s Office or other divisions of State Departments. Believe it or not there was a day when making a complaint to the AG’s office was as easy as making a phone call and being connected with a person who listened to your complaint. After consideration was given to whether or not the issue had merit, the matter was given a case number and instructions to refrain discussing the subject until a decision had been rendered. Yep – simple as that.

    However, the process changed drastically in the ’90’s under the governorship of Fife Symington. For a variety of speculative reasons Gov. Symington substantially stripped authority from the office of the AG’s Office. Grant Woods held the position during those years. We, the public voters, were therefore disenfranchised from the service to which we were entitled and to this day direct access to the Office of the Attorney General remains taboo.

    So you see, without connections to other elected officials such as State Senators or Representatives, who might actually be interested enough in speaking up for us, the only other alternative and suggested method recommended by those turning us down is to “hire yourself an attorney.” Such a deal! And how many of us can afford to do that? And how many of us have the ability to step in and represent ourselves as did Warren, let alone prevail in the outcome? Brilliant – and not one of you maybe wannabe squawkers could hold a candle to anyone with real capabilities or else you wouldn’t be whining like wimps.

    Unless and until Arizona elects a Governor who has the gumption to allow the AG’s office to directly serve the people again, we will continue to be held hostage to a system that panders only to the elite and their connections. Shameful – yes. But pulling off what Warren did had odds similar to winning the lottery or getting struck by lightening. Again Warren, way to go.

    And let us not forget the ongoing dedication, hours and hours of research and devotion from Nancy, Monnie, and others who continue to assist in the unfair battle against the scandalous relationship between the Az. Corp. Commission and APS and other agencies who refuse to accept reality. Almost any day of the week the Arizona Republic has more to report, and that’s the truth.

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