By Emily LeCoz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Northern District Mississippi Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley sent out 12 new subpoenas this week to rural water associations whose bylaws he still lacks.
Thirty-seven of the roughly 220 water associations in Presley’s district have yet to submit their governing documents to his office for review. The commissioner had requested them from each utility in December to make sure they adhered to the state code.
But as of late January – and after at least two formal requests – several dozen associations still hadn’t complied, prompting Presley to issue subpoenas for the bylaws instead.
“We have issued many subpoenas so far, and all the ones who have received them have complied,” Presley told the Daily Journal this week. “They haven’t had to go to court.”
In the meantime, Presley said his office has begun reviewing the bylaws it does have and is compiling a report on the findings. The report will be released afterward, he said.
Presley had launched his investigation after discovering the bylaws of the North Lee County Water Association were out of compliance with state law. But the Mississippi Rural Water Association publicly disputed Presley’s jurisdiction, prompting dozens of associations to ignore his request.
The MRWA later advised utilities to comply with the subpoenas despite maintaining its belief Presley is overstepping his authority.