SPOKANE, Wash., June 27, 2003 — Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chief Administrative Law Judge Curtis L. Wagner Jr. has denied a request to resolve an investigation of Avista Corp. The judge has reinstated a procedural schedule that calls for further testimony and hearings in the case.
FERC trial staff and Avista agreed to resolve the case in January after an extensive investigation. Trial staff concluded there was no evidence that Avista had knowingly engaged in or facilitated any improper trading strategies, nor that Avista engaged in efforts to manipulate western energy markets, and that Avista cooperated fully with the staff investigation.
“We are very disappointed that the judge has chosen not to certify the agreement to the full commission,” said Gary G. Ely, chairman, president and chief operating officer of Avista Corp. “We are still studying the judge’s order to determine what our options are and we will cooperate fully, as we have from the beginning. “
The procedural schedule calls for a hearing on October 27. An initial decision will be issued on January 12, 2004.
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is a company operating division that provides electric and natural gas service to customers in four western states. Avista’s non-regulated subsidiaries include Avista Advantage, Avista Labs and Avista Energy. Avista Corp.’s stock is traded under the ticker symbol “AVA” and its Internet address is www.avistacorp.com