Comments by Diogenes

Shut up! Shut up!

The UT carries an editorial in the 2-11-15 condemning Peevey. So the "problem" is not Don Bauder "following" Michael Aguirre. "Peevey's arrogance and sense of infallibility led him to conclude that rules were for other people." This is Don Bauder' s fault? It is one thing to raise rates on consumers but inexcusable to endanger public safety at San Bruno and SONGS. I believe that only full discovery of all documents followed by examination under oath can expose the truth. I told this to PUC at a public comment session at Costa Mesa regarding the unfair settlement st SONGS. The PUC wanted to avoid hearings on the issue of whether Souhern California Edison acted prudently in the operation of SONGS. For one thing, this culture of placing profits over safety endangered 8.5 million residents who cannot flee a meltdown. I am of the opinion that attorneys are prohibited from meeting ex parte with "decision-makers" by Rule 5-300(c) Rules of Profesdional Conduct unless the conduct is in writing and served on all other parties. Rule 5-300 (c) defines "decision -maker." Cal. 1984-82 and Cal. 1977-43 are ethics opinions that extend these rules to administrative hearings. The PUC procedures are inadequate to protect the public. As stated by the UT editorial, "Who knows what - if anything - relevant to the shutdown that Peevey might have said to then-Edison lawyer Stephen Pickett in their 30-minute meeting that March at Warsaw's Bristol Hotel. Utilities will recover 70 percent of the 4.7 billion cost of San Onofre's shutdown from ratepapers. Peevey did not directly benefit from that settlement that we know of pending further investigation. Attorneys must avoid ex parte contacts with decision-makers unless the contact is in writing with a copy to all other parties. Peevey has no power to absolve ethical lapses by lawyers. The Supreme Court of California and the State Bar decide these matters, not the PUC. I know that ex parte contacts in Environmental Law is the hot topic in seminars. This is a classical example of why attorneys have this prohibition. Such contacts should be avoided by attorneys. Judges do not allow these contacts without the express permission of all parties. Such contacts undermine the integrity of the administrative process.
— February 11, 2015 8:46 a.m.

Former public utilities president's home searched

Judge shopping in collusion with a Vice President of SDG&E in the San Bruno affair was grounds for Peevey to recuse himself or step down before the SONGS settlement was approved. But he didn't do so. Peevey's wife is state Senator, Liu (Glendale). They live in La Canada. This is a circumstance that deepens the series of "coincidences." Then there was the issue of the ex parte meetings with only some of the intervenors. This process only added to the appearance of impropriety. What was the big rush to settle SONGS without a determination by the CPU on the issue of "prudence" of the operator, Southern California Edison? An evidentiary hearing on Phase Three was necessary to establish whether there was "prudent" management of the nuclear power plant. I objected at the public comment meeting in Costa Mesa. I told Peevey and the Commission that documents should have been produced by Southern California Edison and the authors cross-examined under penalty of perjury, as is the practice in a lawsuit involving billions of dollars, and that there was no basis for a settlement without a record of who was at fault. What was also clear was the failure to give Senator Boxer documents and the endangerment of 8.5 million people. These companies do not want their documents to become public because they are "proprietary." I suspect that there were many discrepancies that would not withstand scrutiny. The settlement should be set aside as a taking without "due process" in violation of the 5th and 14th Amendments. Ex parte contacts with a decision-maker are generally prohibited by the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys. Now with the criminal investigations, the appearance of impropriety is only heightened. Some of these attorneys made very good arguments against the settlement but ended up recommending settlement because the Commission was "unfair." This was like pulling punches. I got the impression that some of the intervenors needed the money. Moreover, the attorneys threw in the towel because of the obvious bias of the Commission which they claimed made further efforts "futile." I have never heard such an argument before. Aguirre stuck to his position, as did Ray Lutz. I read all the briefs and listened to their "arguments." There were many excellent arguments against settlement of SONGS. This criminal investigation itself is now another reason to suspect collusion in SONGS settlement. If there was misconduct in San Bruno, a reasonable inference was that there was similar misconduct in the SONGS settlement but the Administrative Law Judge overruled that motion! Her ruling looks suspect now. It is past time to reform the PUC.
— January 29, 2015 9:02 p.m.

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