SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — Four senior officials with Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and the state commission regulating it were removed or resigned over emails released Monday showing the utility and state regulators appeared to negotiate which judge would be assigned to hear one of the utility’s rate cases.
California Public Utilities Commission president Michael Peevey, who was included in part of the January email exchange, removed himself from involvement in that rate case and in another, bigger case pending before the utility commission involving PG&E, which is California’s largest utility.
Monday’s measures deepen the growing controversy surrounding the state utilities commission’s oversight of the utility in the aftermath of a 2010 explosion of a PG&E natural-gas pipeline that killed eight people in San Bruno.
In July, other emails released at the request of San Bruno city officials showed Peevey and his staffers consulting with the utility on matters including how big PG&E’s fine should be in the blast. The commission’s decision on that fine is pending.