Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

PSC issues subpoena for Aloha Utilities' streetlight records in west Pasco

HOLIDAY — For nearly six months, state regulators have asked former Aloha Utilities officials for billing records that could show whether the company overcharged customers for streetlight services. So far, the company has failed to turn over the documents.

Now, lawyers for the Florida Public Service Commission have raised the stakes: They have issued a subpoena to the former utility's principals, demanding to see the records by May 28.

"They want to see the documents," said commission spokesman Todd Brown. "It always sounded like the documents were forthcoming but we didn't get anything."

Aloha has paid Progress Energy for the electricity and then billed thousands of west Pasco residents, including many in Tahitian Gardens and Tiki Village, for the service.

That's fine as long as the company is only breaking even. But if Aloha turned a profit, authorities said, it would be in violation of state law.

Companies that resell at a profit are considered electric utilities subject to full regulation by the commission.

Aloha sold its water and wastewater operations to a governmental authority early last year, but continued billing for street lighting — as well as trash collection — in some neighborhoods.

In October, the former utility's principals — Lynnda Speer and Stephen Watford — filed documents with the state division of corporations to change the company's name to MMLJ Holdings.

Speer, the wife of HSN founder Roy Speer, did not return phone messages Thursday.

The commission, after receiving a complaint from state Sen. Mike Fasano's office, began looking into the matter in November.

A longtime Aloha critic, Fasano said Thursday that if representatives of the former utility don't comply with the subpoena, he will ask the Florida Attorney General's Office for an investigation.

"You'd think Aloha would want to quickly show they were not making a profit," said Fasano, R-New Port Richey. "We're talking about not complying with a subpoena . . . It's in their court. I would encourage them to comply. If they have nothing to hide, they should comply."

Fasano said he also planned to propose to Pasco County that it draw up an ordinance saying that neighborhoods that currently pay their trash bills to MMLJ Holdings — which, in turn, pays Waste Management — should be able to choose their own haulers and avoid the middleman. He had proposed a local bill related to that issue, but it went nowhere this session.

Jodie Tillman can be reached at jtillman@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6247.

PSC issues subpoena for Aloha Utilities' streetlight records in west Pasco 05/13/10 [Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 9:04pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review: Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald team up to cool down the Clearwater Jazz Holiday

    Blogs

    A cool breeze swept through Coachman Park Saturday night. Couple of them, actually.

    Kenny Loggins performed at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 21, 2017.
  2. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  3. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  5. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)

    Nation

    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102