PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Local activists are pressuring the new CEO of Arizona Public Service pledge he will halt campaign spending on politics. But the new boss, who officially took over the state's largest power company on Monday, declined to make that promise.
"Jeff Guldner has already committed to having that conversation with (Arizona Corporation) commissioners and is looking forward to it," an APS spokeswoman said in a statement.
To make a point, the Arizona Advocacy Network released a report calculating how much money APS has spent on politics over a five-year period.
The nonprofit group found the utility shelled out $130 million from 2013 to 2018 on political and marketing campaigns, as well as sponsorships and lobbying. To coincide with their report, the group placed a mobile billboard outside the company's headquarters in downtown Phoenix demanding a change in how the company is run.
The executive director of the group, Joel Edman, said the changing leadership could help change some of the public's perceptions about APS.
"It's a great opportunity for us to turn the page on this recent era and go back to being a respected community institution," he said.
Beyond the political spending, APS has faced numerous scandals over the past several years. Most notably, the 72-year-old woman who after her power was shut off on a 107-degree day.