HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has scheduled a tentative date of Sept. 8 to hear an appeal filed by the Pennsylvania Utility Commission over the release of an anonymous letter, one that led to a misconduct settlement with PPL Electric Utilities after an October 2011 power outage.
The state’s Open Records Office last year ruled in favor a request by The Times Leader and The Morning Call, Allentown, newspapers for the PUC to release an anonymous letter regarding wrongdoing by PPL, when it dispatched crews to restore electrical service in the wake of a severe store on Oct. 29, 2011.
The newspapers believe the “tip letter” was sent to the PUC by a PPL employee and explains how restoration crews shifted their efforts from a high-priority zone to a lower-priority zone.
A PUC investigation found the anonymous letter was true.
The diversion of work crews delayed power restoration to about 1,400 PPL customers for about a week. PPL settled with the PUC for $60,000.
The PUC and PPL Electric Utilities filed an appeal with the state appellate court, challenging the Open Records Office decision that instructed the release of the anonymous letter to the newspapers.
Other media outlets, including WNEP-TV, joined in the litigation earlier this year.