Topeka A Kansas prosecutor has agreed to delay his lawsuit against the Kansas Corporation Commission over alleged open meetings violations while the utility regulatory board reviews its policies.
Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor said Wednesday he filed a motion in state court agreeing to a 120-day stay while the KCC conducts a voluntary audit of its procedures.
“Once that audit has been completed, the parties will resume litigation,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement. “While the stay may not exceed 120 days by the terms of the motion and order, the parties expect the case to continue towards a resolution well before that time.”
Taylor said in court documents filed June 19 that the three members of the KCC, which regulates utilities in Kansas, violated the Kansas Open Meetings Act by taking binding action on a regulatory issue over a Salina water rate increase without convening in public to vote on the issue.
Taylor’s office said the motion to delay the lawsuit was filed Tuesday in Shawnee County District Court.
The development came the same day Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office announced it would not represent the KCC in the lawsuit, as reported by The Topeka Capital-Journal.
Taylor’s complaint questioned the KCC’s practice of issuing regulatory orders without a public meeting and vote and having an attorney confer with members individually to issue a decision reflecting the majority.
The KCC defended the practice but has since abandoned it indefinitely.
Also Tuesday, the KCC approved changes in its operations that included scheduling two public meetings a week to handle routine business, rather than just one.