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Commissioner seeks independent probe after woman’s death

July 2, 2019

PHOENIX (AP) — One of the five officials overseeing most Arizona utilities wants an independent investigation into how the Corporation Commission handled phone calls from a woman whose 72-year-old mother died after her power was shut off in triple-digit heat.

Commissioner Lea Marquez Peterson says she’ll ask the rest of the commission to support the investigation during a meeting next week.

Utilities Division Director Elijah Abinah reported preliminary findings of an internal investigation last week.

The report says the woman asked about the rules for disconnecting service and said her mother was found dead in the home after her power was shut off. But Abinah says the woman never communicated that she believes the death was related to the power disconnection.

Peterson says an independent probe would provide more confidence in the findings.

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