NASHVILLE — Attorneys in a contested Tennessee-American Water Co. rate case agreed Friday to remove from a state Web site the resume of a former American Water Works Co. executive now affiliated with a state-retained consulting firm.
By day’s end, Tennessee Regulatory Authority officials removed an entire 46-page, May 28 filing by the state consumer advocate that contains four pages on the background of Frank S. Impagliazzo from the regulatory agency’s Web-based system of filings.
But the issue of how to deal with Mr. Impagliazzo and the Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm with which he is affiliated — Snavely King Majoros O’Connor & Bedell Inc. — remained unresolved at the end of a two-day status conference on legal disputes in the rate case.
“We’ve been working on it, and we’ve come very close, but we don’t have an agreement yet,” Dale Grimes, one of Tennessee-American’s attorneys, told TRA’s general counsel, Richard Collier, who is serving as hearing officer over technical issues.
The state’s consumer advocate, Tim Phillips, later declined comment.
The story so far
The state, joined by Chattanooga and the Chattanooga Manufacturers Association, is contesting Tennessee-American Water Co.’s effort to hike Chattanoogans’ water rates by 20.58 percent.
If approved in full, the rate increase would generate $7.6 million in revenue, Tennessee-American officials estimate. They argue it will help the utility recover $21.4 million in capital investments and higher operating costs.
State and local officials, however, are trying to find out how much profit Tennessee-American and its parent company, American Water Works Co., will make. The latest request comes on the heels of a TRA-approved May 2007 rate increase of 12.3 percent.
Tennessee-American attorneys and officials contend confidentiality provisions in Mr. Impagliazzo’s severance agreement with American Water prohibit him from helping the state.
According to the resume, which the Times Free Press previously downloaded and put on its Web site, Mr. Impagliazzo claims a rich history of experience in areas ranging from regulatory affairs, rate analysis and cost-cutting.
One of the state’s attorneys told Mr. Collier in Friday’s proceeding that the Snavley King firm has been retained to examine issues pertaining to depreciation, the practice of spreading the cost of an asset over a period of time.
As Mr. Grimes said, “We’d like that (resume) removed,” attorney Henry Walker, who has been retained by the Chattanooga Manufacturers Association, appeared bemused.
“I would just point out for the record it was in the Chattanooga Times Free Press this morning (Friday),” Mr. Walker told Mr. Collier.
Seeing no objection, Mr. Collier ordered the entire filing removed from the TRA Web site.
An attempt to contact Mr. Impagliazzo through the Snavely King consulting firm was unsuccessful on Friday.
“He’s a stringer; he’s not a regular employee,” Charles King said of Mr. Impagliazzo. “I don’t know that he wants to be contacted right now. I think he’s been told by his lawyers to keep his mouth shut.”
In other issues, attorneys reached agreement on several information requests but disagreed on others as well as whether to extend a confidential order on what financial information about Tennessee-American should be shielded from public view.
Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...