Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Judge Bordallo "Stays" PUC Order Requiring GWA Pay $18M to GovGuam

Guam News - Guam News

Guam - Superior Court Judge Michael Bordallo has put the breaks on the Public Utility Commission's [PUC] order to the Guam Waterworks Authority [GWA] to pay back $18 million to the General Fund  which GovGuam paid out to GWA's forerunner agency, the old Public Utilities Agency of Guam [PUAG].

Judge Bordallo has issued a stay which halts all efforts by the PUC to enforce its order until the Judge hears the merits of the case.

The PUC issued the order in accordance with an amendment sponsored by Senator Ben Pangelinan which was attached to what became Public Law 30-145 last year. That law authorized GWA to issue a bond for infrastructure improvements.

READ the stay granted by Judge Bordallo against PUC order for GWA to pay $18 million to GovGuam

GWA has taken the PUC to court in an effort to get the order overturned.

GWA argues that the PUC's order is illegal because it would force GWA to make an $18 million dollar payment, unrelated to the purpose of the bond issue which was to build infrastructure. In addition they argue that the law would force an 18% rate increase on the island's water customers to pay for the  $18 million dollars pay back.

In his Friday order, Judge Bordallo wrote that GWA has "adequately demonstrated the need for a stay,"  and that GWA has raised serious questions about  "the merits and irreparable harm which outweighs any potential harm to the PUC or the Government of Guam if a stay is issued."


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