"This Has Wrecked My Career"

Jack Rose was a golden boy, a precocious businessman and political insider. Then he ran into a buzz saw at the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Southwest Gas contends in court it was in the dark about Oneok's machinations. "If Oneok had disclosed its improper role in the lobbying efforts by Rose and Irvin ... and the Oneok Rose Prudential relationship, it would have caused the Board to have serious questions about the integrity of Oneok's senior management ... and about Oneok's chances of obtaining regulatory approval...."

Southwest Gas seeks damages from Oneok "proportional" to its 1999 sales of $1.8 billion.

Southwest's allegations against Southern Union are milder. Among other things, Southwest alleges Southern Union breached a confidentiality agreement and misused Southwest's trade secrets.

The Arizona Corporation Commission at 1200 West Washington.
Paolo Vescia
The Arizona Corporation Commission at 1200 West Washington.

On January 4, Deborah Scott, the Arizona Corporation Commission's utility director, testified that the staff recommended that the commission not approve the merger, in part because it doubted "Oneok's truthfulness and ability to identify inappropriate conduct and apparent conflicts of interest."

Oneok withdrew its merger application in January.

Commissioners opened a new case, or docket, that will enable them to look into the companies involved in the Southwest-Oneok merger.

Carl Kunasek reigns as chairman of the Arizona Corporation Commission.

His aide, Jerry Porter, still watches C-SPAN.

Jim Irvin is still an active commissioner. He still will not talk to Carl Kunasek. Two weeks ago, commission staffers saw Irvin duck into a couple of offices, then sneak into the elevator to dodge a process server.

Times are tough for Jack Rose. The wunderkind from Mohave Valley does not have a full-time job. Although he says he does occasional legal work, it has been necessary to cash in his retirement to pay his defense lawyers.

Jack Rose says he will prove in court he's done nothing wrong.

Then, he hopes to become a university professor.

Contact Terry Greene Sterling at 602-229-8437, or online at terry.greene@newtimes.com

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