Melanie Darling, the California Public Utilities Commission administrative law judge handling the San Onofre decommissioning matter, stated yesterday (August 5) that in the period leading to the decision to stick ratepayers with 70 percent of almost $5 billion in costs, Southern California Edison violated regulatory rules by not reporting meetings that should have been reported.
She ordered Edison to file notices of these ex parte communications, and also ordered Edison to show cause why it should not be sanctioned for dubious statements of its executives.
Peevey did all the talking
The judge focused on the now-infamous secret huddle between Mike Peevey, then president of the commission (who is under state and federal criminal investigation), and Stephen Pickett, then a top Edison executive, now retired. The clandestine meeting took place in Warsaw, Poland, on March 26, 2013. Edison reported it had taken place two years later. Two Pickett statements were "misleading," says the judge. First, he claimed that Edison did not report the meeting because Peevey did all the talking. The judge said that other statements cast that one in doubt.
"Working San Onofre"
Pickett filled out a declaration stating that he had dinner with Peevey the following night and Peevey "may have mentioned" the San Onofre matter. But in an internal email, he boasted that he was "working [San Onofre]" with Peevey at the dinner. The statements were misleading, Darling said. Pickett had a dinner with Peevey a month later and called it "social." But Pickett scheduled a meeting with a senior Edison attorney immediately after the dinner. Darling questions that explanation.
Ron Litzinger, a top Edison official also had clandestine meetings that should have been reported, Darling said, stating in detail why his comments were questionable.
She ruled that Edison must show why it should not be held in contempt of the commission and sanctioned.
The irony is that those who have been battling this "rape of the ratepayer" have questions about Judge Darling's role, too.