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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, July 20, 2024


Oct. 7, 2002 – Innovative Telephone faces court action as a result of its failure to pay $400,000 to the Public Services Commission by last Friday's deadline set by the PSC at a meeting on Sept. 30.
PSC attorney Frederick Watts said on Monday that he is "sure" he will be receiving instructions from the PSC, "and I'll report very shortly on that."
The court action may be for more than the $400,000. Watts said, "We'll take everything we're entitled to." The telephone company owes the commission $604,400 in rate investigation assessments dating back to May 2001. At its Sept. 30 meeting, the commission ordered Innovative to pay $400,000 of that amount by Friday or face being sued for everything it owes.
Innovative filed a motion for reconsideration of the order the same day, a spokesman said on Friday evening. However, that appeal has no bearing on its failure to pay the money it owes, Watts and PSC officials said.
Thomas J. Dunn, the Innovative Telephone spokesman, said on Monday that the PSC is "certainly entitled" to take legal action and that he had nothing more to say on the subject.
The telephone company has paid $75,000 of its total assessments since the legally mandated rate investigation began last year. It failure to pay the remainder has put the commission on flimsy financial footing, seriously hampering its ability to function, its chair, Desmond Maynard, and its account maintenance officer, Claudius Moore, have said.
Moore said at the Sept. 30 meeting that if Innovative does not put money into the PSC's government account to cover consulting fees and payroll costs, the commission might not receive its $150,000 fourth-quarter allotment for Fiscal Year 2002. In addition to the $604,400 Innovative owes in back invoices, Moore said, many subsequent assessments have not yet been billed. The company paid the $75,000 of a $213,000 invoice sent out about two months ago, Keithley Joseph, PSC executive director, said on Monday.
A utility regulated by the PSC has 30 days from the date of an assessment to make payment. At the Sept. 30 meeting, Watts told the commission regarding Innovative, "They're out of time." A company also has 30 days to file a petition for reassessment after an order, he said, and "you don't have to give them an extension."

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