Attorney Mike Aguirre will argue this afternoon (April 16) that U.S. District court judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo was wrong when she ruled tentatively earlier this week that Aguirre's "taking" case could not be heard in federal court because the California Public Utilities Commission had already held a hearing on the matter. There was no official hearing, Aguirre will tell the judge. "The decision-making took place outside duly established procedures," he will argue.
On March 26, 2013, former utilities commission president Michael Peevey secretly huddled with a top executive of Southern California Edison. Notes of that meeting, seized by investigators, show that the two sketched out a scheme by which ratepayers would pick up the tab for 70 percent of the closing of the San Onofre nuclear plant. Those notes turned out to reflect almost exactly what happened.
The meeting that the judge says was a hearing was really a press conference, Aguirre will argue. The decision had already been made secretly. The judge said earlier this week that since there had already been a meeting, federal court was not the right venue for Aguirre's suit, which charges that the secret agreement was essentially an unconstitutional taking of property without the paying of a fair price.
Aguirre wants to amend his suit. Bencivengo seemed adamant in her initial decision, saying that if she stuck with it, Aguirre's suit could not be brought back. That's dismissing a suit "with prejudice."