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Chief of staff at CPUC resigns

And Peevey bows out of San Bruno decision

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced today, September 15, that it had taken several measures to deal with what it called "inappropriate email exchanges" between the commission and the utilities. Those emails, unearthed in July, showed that the CPUC was biased toward the utilities it is supposed to regulate.

Carol Brown, chief of staff to CPUC president Michael Peevey, agreed to resign. She had sent one of the pro-utility emails. Peevey recused himself from the decision on how much Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) should be assessed for negligence in the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion. Two administrative law judges recommended a $1.4 billion penalty, but staff members had recommended a significantly larger penalty.

PG&E dismissed three executives involved in the email exchange, including Brian Cherry, vice president for regulatory relations. The company admitted that the emails "may have violated CPUC rules prohibiting certain ex parte communications." PG&E promised a probe of 65,000 emails over a five-year period.

PG&E's Cherry had complained to CPUC commissioner Mike Florio that certain administrative law judges had given the company troubles in the past. Florio at one point told Cherry. "I'm horrified!" about the possibility of one judge taking the case. Florio said the commission was considering giving the case to another judge.

The commission's belated and apologetic actions are further proof that the CPUC under Peevey (with Florio's assistance) has been pro-utility and anti-ratepayer.

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The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced today, September 15, that it had taken several measures to deal with what it called "inappropriate email exchanges" between the commission and the utilities. Those emails, unearthed in July, showed that the CPUC was biased toward the utilities it is supposed to regulate.

Carol Brown, chief of staff to CPUC president Michael Peevey, agreed to resign. She had sent one of the pro-utility emails. Peevey recused himself from the decision on how much Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) should be assessed for negligence in the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion. Two administrative law judges recommended a $1.4 billion penalty, but staff members had recommended a significantly larger penalty.

PG&E dismissed three executives involved in the email exchange, including Brian Cherry, vice president for regulatory relations. The company admitted that the emails "may have violated CPUC rules prohibiting certain ex parte communications." PG&E promised a probe of 65,000 emails over a five-year period.

PG&E's Cherry had complained to CPUC commissioner Mike Florio that certain administrative law judges had given the company troubles in the past. Florio at one point told Cherry. "I'm horrified!" about the possibility of one judge taking the case. Florio said the commission was considering giving the case to another judge.

The commission's belated and apologetic actions are further proof that the CPUC under Peevey (with Florio's assistance) has been pro-utility and anti-ratepayer.

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Comments
91

Don - I wouldn't say anything bad about utilities today. I'm running 5, 6 fans all day. Need the same for a couple more days without any outages. Seriously, it's like I'm holding my breath (and being pro-utility) Aargh! How's your weather?

Sept. 15, 2014

shirleyberan: Fall has been in the air for some time. It goes down to the 40s at night, but may climb to 70 during the day. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 15, 2014

Don--It's around 40 here as well. Unfortunately, that is 40 Celsius. At least.

Sept. 15, 2014

aardvark: According to what I read, the hot weather helped the Chargers win Sunday. Look at the bright side. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

Don: With the heat the way it was on Sunday, I am surprised no one has popped up again to tout the "benefits" of a combo convention center/stadium (with A/C, of course).

Sept. 16, 2014

aardvark: The corporate welfare crowd is leaning toward a combined stadium/convention center expansion. So is Faulconer. Don't be surprised if air conditioning is in the picture. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

Don: Of course A/C is in the picture. Remember the original convention center configuration--with the upstairs area open on the sides but covered by those sails? (Which are now in need of replacement, but that's another story) Too many people who had conventions that used that open area complained, so the convention center closed in that area, which then meant it had to have A/C. I'm sure the powers that be will claim if they use a retractable roof, they won't need A/C. I will call BS on that, not to mention the fact that even a retractable roof stadium in this climate is a waste of untold millions. Then again, the convention center expansion is a waste of millions as well, considering the glut of convention center space.

Sept. 16, 2014

aardvark: San Diego will be a national laughingstock if it puts a retractable roof on a stadium, even if the stadium is combined with a convention center expansion. A retractable roof in a Mediterranean climate? How effete. Yes, it will probably have air conditioning. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

Don: I don't think (in spite of the people that are pushing this) that the combo idea will ever get off of the ground.

Sept. 16, 2014

aardvark: I wish I could agree with you. Yes, spending billions on a combined stadium/convention center expansion would be bordering on insanity. However, this is what the corporate welfare crowd and its lackey, Mayor Faulconer, appear to want. They have the money in town. So as nutty as it would be, it can't be counted out. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 19, 2014

Don: Does that mean we should look for changes on the convention center board? As in replacing members with others who would be more receptive to this insanity?

Sept. 19, 2014

aardvark: The convention center board has already signed on to some dubious things -- including, apparently, faulty bookkeeping. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 24, 2014

Shocking!

Sept. 15, 2014

shirleyberan: You mean that sitting down resembles sitting in an electric chair? That's hot. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

The CPUC is a do nothing group of political hacks who have only allegiance to the utilities and never consider the public. They are corrupt and useless. They should be disbanded and replaced with a consumer driven oversight group of some sort. (I know wishful thinking as money talks and ........)

Sept. 16, 2014

AlexClarke: That is a very good description of the CPUC today. However, California has had good CPUCs. When Loretta Lynch headed it in 2000-2002, it was an enlightened regulator, putting consumers first, and not utility profits first, as the current commission does.

The revelations of these emails, along with the CPUC's belated and apologetic response to them, show definitively that the CPUC today is totally pro-utility and anti-consumer. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

So Carol Brown takes the fall.

Sept. 16, 2014

eastlaker: That's the way these things normally work. Somebody down the line falls on his or her sword to protect the crook at the top.

Watch what will happen at the NFL. Some secretary will take the hit. She will admit she got the video from the law enforcement official, but will claim she never passed it on to league officials. It will be a lie, of course -- one for which she will be richly rewarded, probably through an offshore bank. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

Don: Would not be surprised that sometime this season (probably quite soon), the NFL announces that the blackout rule will be discontinued. Perhaps a little good news will help the public forget about all of the troubles The League and their players are currently going through.

Sept. 16, 2014

According to (FCC) chairman Tom Wheeler,from an op-ed he wrote last week, the sports blackout rule needs to go and the full commission will vote on it before the end of the month. "The NFL should no longer be able to hide behind government rules that punish loyal fans, which is why I am sending to my fellow commissioners a proposal to get rid of the FCC's blackout rules once and for all," Wheeler wrote in his op-ed. "It fulfills a commitment I made in June. We will vote on the proposal on September 30." I guess we'll see.

Sept. 16, 2014

danfogel: I think aardvark is right: the blackout rule will go. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

aardvark: Yes, I think the blackout rule will be discontinued. It is unpopular with fans and the billionaire owners don't really need it. They are minting money now. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

Q -How do you grow a nuclear power plant? A -Plant a light bulb. Q -Why do flourescent lights hum? A -Because they can't remember the words. Q -Why was the free electron so sad? A -He had nothing to be positive about. It's so hot, the air conditioner wants double overtime pay. It's so hot, the AC bill is higher than the mortgage. It's so hot, I'm buying stock in Gatorade. It's so hot, my dream house is in Alaska. What do you call a power failure? A current event.

Sept. 16, 2014

Lol--Stop it.

Sept. 16, 2014

aardvark: I will be posting more details on the exchange of emails between the thoroughly crooked PG&E and equally crooked CPUC. See below. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

aardvark: I will be posting more details on the exchange of emails between the crooked PG&E and equally crooked CPUC. See below. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

shirleyberan: You are really hot -- with the witty remarks. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

I'm not done. Gotta go out and beat the heat but we'll talk later.

Sept. 16, 2014

shirleyberan: Why go OUT to beat the heat? Wouldn't you be better off IN and under air conditioning? Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

You know I stole those.

Sept. 16, 2014

shirleyberan: I wondered. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

PG&E/CPUC RELATIONSHIP WASN'T JUST COZY -- IT WAS LOVEY-DOVEY. The San Francisco Chronicle has expanded on the batch of new emails between PG&E and the CPUC leading to yesterday's house-cleaning at both the company and the agency. PG&E's vice president of regulatory relations told an aide to CPUC president Mike Peevey that one prospective administrative law judge in the case presented "a real problem for us." Another judge being considered had handled a case involving PG&E and the company "got screwed royally."

So Mike Florio, another commissioner said "I'll do what I can" to get a judge that the company wanted. Ultimately, PG&E got its way, and got the judge it wanted.

Peevey asked his chief of staff, Carol Brown, to resign, as earlier reported here. Brown had advised a top PG&E official on how to get around a request for public information over the 2010 San Bruno explosion. "Love you," replied the PG&E official.

As earlier reported, the two administrative law judges recommended a much lower penalty for PG&E as the staff had recommended. Obviously, that was just what PG&E wanted.

It is now time for law enforcement to consider criminal charges against top CPUC and PG&E officials. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

I would but I can't invite a partner without central air.

Sept. 16, 2014

Don - I don't remember a winter at all last year. That's real for here. The reason to move closer to the beach is for the waterbed waves.

Sept. 16, 2014

shirleyberan: Winter? San Diego has two seasons: wet and dry. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

My kid's an idiot and censored me. Next go round Donny. She took off with our IPad.

Sept. 16, 2014

Don - So Mr. Peevey recused himself but fingered his chief of staff while commissioner Mike Florio helped PG&E save their shareholders 2 billion dollars...

Anybody want to bet Carol Brown will be able to find employment at PG&E?

If this 2 billion dollar CPUC "decision" does not get "law enforcement to consider criminal charges against top CPUC and PG&E officials" then all CA ratepayers should question who CA law enforcement is really protecting.

Sept. 16, 2014

CaptD: Florio, a former lawyer for The Utility Reform Network (TURN), should have known better. To send out emails displaying his obvious bias for PG&E -- and attempting to help PG&E get a friendly administrative law judge -- should lead AT LEAST to his dismissal from the CPUC. I agree with you: criminal charges are appropriate in this case. Regulators are supposed to protect ratepayers, not utilities. This CPUC under Peevey is blatantly pro-utility. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

Don - Maybe since they picked Florio and he si not working out too well,they will pick Aguirre next :-)

Sept. 16, 2014

It would make me happy if Aguirre was a Commissioner.

Sept. 16, 2014

mikeknell: That would require a total housecleaning. But believe it or not, such a housecleaning is not an impossibility. The public is justifiably getting aroused. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

CaptD: Aguirre, who won the case when SDG&E tried to get ratepayers to pick up the tab for uninsured costs of the SDG&E-caused 2007 fires, was denied any intervenor fees at all by the CPUC brass. Their long noses were out of joint. Aguirre appealed and four days ago got turned down again. That's what the arrogant bureaucrats at the CPUC think of somebody who beats them in a battle.

But I believe things are changing. The CPUC is on the run. It is a dishonest agency that should be ground to pulp by the people it is cheating: ratepayers, who are also voters. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

captd/founder I doubt that Carol Brown will be going to PG&E, or any place else for that matter. She already has another profession, as an administrative law judge. In fact, and I'm surprised that don bauder has not mentioned this, before assuming the position as Peevey's CoS, she was an administrative law judge for the CPUC. Sources within the CPUC have said that when she returns from leave, she will probably return to her old job at the commission - administrative law judge - and retain her salary, of $120k.

Sept. 19, 2014

danfogel - Maybe they will assign her to the San Onofre Debacle where she can help insure that Utility justice is done. I'm sure that SCE will not complain since she has a track record of successful resolutions, I just hope she does not get a broken back leaning over to help SCE and SDG&E.

Sept. 23, 2014

captd/founder I would be interested in seeing some of those "successful resolutions", as you call them. Do you have a link? It would be interesting to see, given recent events. The reason I ask is because as an ALJ at the PUC, she really doesn't "resolve" anything, successfully or otherwise. In fact, she has practically no power whatsoever. Her job is to preside over proceedings at the PUC and come up with proposed rulings for a final decision by the five commissioners. BTW, the PUC phone directory already lists her as an administrative law judge. I find it interesting that no one here seems to have noticed that Brown actually did not leave the agency, but is only on temporary, and from what I read paid, leave. She merely resigned her position as Peevey's CoS.

Sept. 24, 2014

CaptD: The CPUC made sure it assigned friendly administrative law judges for PG&E. I am sure it will do the same for Edison. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 24, 2014

It's sad when people send emails while in bed with each other, they must be married.

Sept. 16, 2014

Married to making money...?

Sept. 16, 2014

CaptD: Yes. It's called unholy matrimony. Or matrimoney. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

Psycholizard: PG&E and CPUC are not officially married. They are sleeping together illicitly. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

Don - I think you were too kind for leaving out, ... "while containing to screw ratepayers".

Sept. 16, 2014

CaptD: Pardon me for omitting those important words. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

Don, I wonder if this will affect Michael Aguirre's complaint with the California Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board against the CPUC and its Staff?

http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2014/jun/17/ticker-armed-papers/

Sept. 16, 2014

captd/founder Aguirre filed the claim against Karen Miller, so I don't see how this would affect it.

Sept. 16, 2014

danfogel: Well, the CPUC was considered invulnerable when Aguirre filed the complaint. It no longer is -- by a long shot. The CPUC is now on the run, and that could help Aguirre's chances. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

Don Bauder Let me elaborate. Here's what his claim states: A - The injury was to my ability to represent my clients before the PUC, to exercise my First Amendment Rights, and my rights under the Bagley Keene Act, and State Constitution. B - While at the CPUC Community Meeting re: motion to adopt the San Onofre settlement at approx 4pm under the direction of CPUC Public Adviser Karen Miller two Cal Highway Patrol Officers interefered with my right to represent my client in the Community meeting by attempting to take my attorney work product needed for my presentation at the meeting. C - Karen Miller is a State of California Employee, the two Highway Patrol Officers are State of California employees. Karen Miller is liable for punitive damages.

Basically, Aguirre has to file the claim before he can sue the state. GCP requires that he first pursues an administrative remedy through the claims process and unless the claim is rejected or denied, he can't sue a state agency, in this case the CPUC. Put simply, he's saying they did this, so I want this. I doubt the CPUC will willingly play nice and that he will end up pursuing remedy in court. Aguirre is a smart guy and I think that's what he expects to happen;he's just following the necessary steps to get there.

Sept. 16, 2014

danfogel: I think the CPUC's arrogant, childish denial of intervenor fees for Aguirre will wind up in court. I hope some other people take the CPUC to court -- and wallop it. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 17, 2014

danfogel - Yes that is of course factual but it remains to be seen if her name also comes up as part of the CPUC Email "investigation" since she has been a very busy Asst. for the CPUC and I would be very surprised if she was not in the loop".

Sept. 17, 2014

CaptD: They have 65,000 emails to go. Expect some redactions and refusal to turn over some. She may well show up. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 17, 2014

captd/founder yes, of course that is true. But if you read the actual complaint, it says "The injury was to my ability to represent my clients before the PUC, to exercise my First Amendment Rights, and my rights under the Bagley Keene Act, and State Constitution." Unless there were to be any emails linking her to this action, either directly or implied, I can't see how they would have any bearing whatsoever. Being "in the loop" and having a premeditated plan to do this to Aguirre are two complete and separate things and I just don't see it.

Sept. 17, 2014

CaptD: I don't know the status of that complaint. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 16, 2014

I believe that the agency staff has 90 days to review the complaint and make written recommendation to the Board to approve or deny the claim. It's all spelled out in the Ca Govt code, so if someone wants to look it up, the should be able to find it.

Sept. 16, 2014

danfogel: Aguirre is now in Boston. I talked with him yesterday. I will ask him about it next time we talk. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 17, 2014

Don Thanks to both you and danfogel.

Sept. 17, 2014

CaptD: Danfogel provides some very useful information to this blog. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 17, 2014

don bauder, thank you. captd/founder does as well. Although he still never seems to answer any questions directed his way.

Sept. 17, 2014

danfogel - I try, but it seems we post at different times so it is not as easy as it sounds.

I'll try to be more responsive, but this is not the only issue I'm tracking and real life takes priority!

Here is the latest from the CPUC:

Motion filed by National Asian American Coalition on 09/16/2014 Conf# 78190

\http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M107/K150/107150182.PDF

Sept. 17, 2014

CaptD: Yes, I have noticed that you post on other blogs as well. You are busy. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 17, 2014

danfogel: My duty is to answer posts on the blog. But for CaptD/founder, that is not duty. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 17, 2014

don bauder, yes I agree that it your "duty" as you put it, but not his. That being said however, if captd/founder asks a specific question of a specific poster, be it myself or anyone else, then I think it's incumbent upon him to respond in kind if asked the same question in turn and to say that he doesn't have time is rather silly if he is continuing to make subsequent posts on the same story while ignoring the return request. IMO that is at best childish, if not just plain hypocritical. If he doesn't want to share the same opinion that he is asking of others, that's fine, just have the courtesy to say so.

Sept. 17, 2014

danfogel: I can't speak for CaptD, but i hope he answers your queries. I will tell you what happens on this blog, though. I may intend to answer somebody's question, then as more posts come in, and I answer them, the subject changes, and the original request slips my mind. (I guess as a newspaper writer I should say "alleged mind.") Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 19, 2014

Don - RE; Carol Brown 'allowed to resign' is perhaps yet another way to keep her from speaking out or being subpoenaed in any (future) CPUC investigation(s)...

Sept. 17, 2014

CaptD: I don't know that it would keep her from being subpoenaed, but it may shut her up. You can bet that much pressure has been put on her to say nary a word. She will be taken care of very generously, believe me. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 17, 2014

SHE RESIGNS, BUT CAN STILL BE JUDGE. FLORIO WON'T STEP DOWN FROM CASE. Carol Brown, who was forced to step down as the CPUC's chief of staff to president Mike Peevey, retains her current civil service rank -- administrative law judge. So she can still be a judge, notes the San Francisco Chronicle.

Brown was forced to step down because she helped Pacific Gas & Electric make sure it had a friendly administrative law judge as the CPUC considers penalties for the company's role in the disastrous San Bruno pipeline explosion, which killed six.

Now get this: Commissioner Mike Florio, who also helped PG&E get a friendly administrative law judge, refuses to back out of the case, as Peevey has. Florio, a lawyer, says that he didn't know that helping a company get a friendly judge was wrong. Yes, he claims he didn't know. And he is a lawyer. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 18, 2014

don bauder, ok so he's a lawyer. Maybe he's just not a very good one. LOL. As we all are aware, bad lawyers grow like weeds in California. Though I have to say that in my opinion, the fact that his law gig was as a senior attorney at TURN for 30 some years makes his performance as a commissioner even more pathetic. I find it interesting that no one ever mentions the fact that he was also was on the board of governors at Cal-Iso for almost 10 yrs.This guy knows, or at least should know, the ins and outs of the power industry, from both sides, better than anyone else on the commission. In my mind, that makes his performance on behalf of the consumer, or lack there of, all the more reprehensible. Even more mysterious is the fact that virtually all of those consumer advocates who are demanding Peevey's head on a pike seem to be giving Florio a pass. I read this interesting article a couple of days ago. http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/CPUC-commissioner-Florio-avoids-consumer-5760228.php
I repeat, PATHETIC!! And probably criminal as well.

Sept. 18, 2014

Remember what Mike Aguirre said about Peevey paying intervener fees to the spineless interveners who didn't upset Peevey?

Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TG0nGVdzo8g

Remember, Florio was getting paid intervener fees by Peevey.

Is there any way someone can find how much Peevey paid Florio?

Sept. 18, 2014

Mike: Yes, the amount the CPUC awarded Florio should be a matter of public record. The CPUC won't help you find the record. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 18, 2014

danfogel: I agree with all your points. I am not aware that consumer advocates are giving Florio a pass, but you may be right. If so, it's reprehensible. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 18, 2014

Don - No surprise that TURN is not complaining.

Mr. Florio should recuse himself from all CPUC deliberations about any funding affecting TURN since he used to work there (which was news to me and many others)!

Sept. 19, 2014

captd/founder I am somewhat surprised that you were unaware of Florio's association with TURN. He was only there for 30plus years and it's the second line of his bio. He also was the author of Prop 9 way back before we moved away, probably 15 yrs ago at least. Among other things, it would also have prohibited assessment of taxes, bonds, surcharges to pay costs of nuclear power plants and provided for judicial review of PUC decisions as they relate to electric restructuring and financing costs. Or then again, maybe I shouldn't really be surprised at all.

Sept. 19, 2014

danfogel: TURN's participation in the so-called compromise that would lead to ratepayers paying more than $3 billion for management's mistakes at San Onofre should raise questions about TURN. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 20, 2014

I'm not sticking up for either turn or Florio. Obviously, Florio's claim he was unaware of the rules against informal communications with utilities is totally bullsh!t, even if it was coming from someone who WASN'T one of their lead attorneys for 30+ yrs. That being said, the proposition that Florio wrote was on the 1998 ballot, 16 yrs ago and would have been a good thing. Florio was not party to TURN's participation in the San Onofre debacle. He's now doing his damage from the other side of the equation. But from what I have read over the last few months, it seems he was effective while at TURN, before going to the dark side. It's interesting that so many people coming from independent agencies that advocate for the consumer have come to the PUC, an agency who's mission is to "serve the public's interest", where they actually have the ability to make changes, and end up doing just the opposite. On a different note, the CCPF has been a supporter of TURN for over a decade. I am curious what they think about some of TURN's latest efforts, or lack there of. By the way, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you I have been saying since I began posting here just over a year ago, that all of the commissioners have performed horribly, doing nothing to show the are on the side of the consumer. I believe that my opinion has proven to be correct.

Sept. 20, 2014

CaptD: Oh yes, Florio was with TURN for years as a lawyer. Yes, he should recuse himself on any decision involving TURN. Emails reveal that Florio helped PG&E get an administrative law judge that would be easy on the utility. Florio should be replaced as a commissioner. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 19, 2014

POLITICIANS WANT ATTORNEY GENERAL TO INVESTIGATE EMAIL EXCHANGES BETWEEN CPUC AND PG&E. The Contra Costa Times reported today (September 19) that three Bay Area politicians want the state attorney general to investigate the email exchanges between the CPUC and PG&E which showed that the CPUC was biased toward the company over the 2010 pipeline explosion. Officials at the CPUC were helping PG&E get a friendly administrative law judge so that its financial penalties were would be lowered. (The company succeeded in getting friendly judges who recommended that PG&E's penalties would be much less than the CPUC staff had recommended.)

"It is incumbent on the attorney general or other enforcement agencies to rein in the corruption and conflicts that are obvious and pervasive at the [CPUC]," said state Sen. Jerry Hill in an interview with the paper. Hill's district includes San Bruno. State Assemblyman Kevin Mullin and San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane also want the attorney general to look into the communications.

Those communications violate laws that prohibit such contacts that occur outside the venue of a formal proceeding before the state agency, Hill said. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 19, 2014

I don't think the State Attorney General can prosecute the corrupt employees at the CPUC. When Attorney General Jerry Brown was the State Attorney General in 2008, and asked to investigate the CPUC, he wrote:

"The Attorney General is required by law to provide legal representation to many state agencies." See link: http://mikeandmabell.com/FBI/History-More_Info-1.html

The FBI is the only agency that can do anything about the corruption at the CPUC.

Sept. 19, 2014

mike knell - I think CA ratepayers would get a much better investigation done by the FBI, since the State Atty. Gen. is already a party to this CPUC Investigation and as far as I know, has done nothing to date to insure ratepayers get "equal" treatment under CA law from the CPUC, per their State mandate.

Sept. 19, 2014

mikeknell I believe you'll find that the Attorney General also serves as chief counsel to state officers and, with a few exceptions, to state agencies, boards and commissions in state litigation. However, I believe that the AG can both investigate and prosecute CPUC employees, much as the USAG can due the same with federal agencies In fact, yesterday several politicians called for the AG's office to start an investigation into the CPUC and AG's office spokesman said the situation is under review.

Sept. 19, 2014

danfogel: Brown's 2008 interpretation might have been in error. The same thing came up when Mike Aguirre was city attorney in San Diego. Some argued he could not investigate city agencies and employees while defending them. He continued to do both. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 19, 2014

mikekknell: That 2008 letter does suggest that the AG provides legal representation to the CPUC. An investigation seemingly could be a conflict. Maybe the FBI is the answer. I really don't know. Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 19, 2014

Don - If the State Atty. Gen. can't/will not investigate then it is no wonder that the Commissioners on the CPUC have no fear, since they are literally above the law, unlike all the ratepayers they serve.

Sept. 19, 2014

CaptD: Yeah, but maybe the Feds can nail them. (If they have the guts and the time.) Best, Don Bauder

Sept. 19, 2014

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