The power company blamed gophers for damaging Steve Beck's electric service, but the rodents were falsely accused.

Whistleblower reported last month that Anoka Municipal Utility threatened to cut off Steve Beck's power if he and his fiancee didn't replace an underground wire.

The utility blamed the damage on gopher bites but admitted its own construction might be to blame. Turns out neither was the culprit. After the line was excavated, the utility determined that the damage was actually caused by a previous homeowner who carelessly installed some fence posts.

"I agree, I have to pay for it,'' said Beck, who thinks the utility should have finished its probe before making any threats. "I'll get it done, but don't give me a line of bull."

JAMES ELI SHIFFER