This morning (January 12), Maria Severson of the law firm Aguirre & Severson will call for an immediate forensic investigation of all erased correspondence on the computers of the new California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) president Michael Picker.
On January 4, the Reader had a story about the cozy emails between former CPUC president Michael Peevey and top executives and lobbyists of Southern California Edison. Peevey is a former president of Edison and its parent. The U-T reported on the same cozy emails January 10. In the U-T story, Picker revealed that his emails are erased after 90 days.
The press in Northern California has reported extremely cozy — perhaps illegal — emails from Peevey and other CPUC officials to Pacific Gas & Electric executives. Those emails show that Peevey, commissioner Mike Florio, and other CPUC officials were helping Pacific Gas & Electric get a smaller financial penalty for its liability in the 2010 San Bruno blast that leveled a neighborhood and killed eight people. PG&E fired several executives involved in the email exchange; Peevey recused himself from any San Bruno decision — an empty gesture because he retired from the CPUC only months after the revelation.
Severson will call for an independent investigation of Picker's hard drives, backup systems, and CPUC's internal computers and email servers. Picker was a commissioner on the CPUC for about a year before he was named president.
Mike Aguirre of the Aguirre & Severson firm this morning requested under the California Public Records Act and California State Constitution all CPUC-related emails on Picker's personal email addresses relating to the closure of the San Onofre nuclear plant. This includes all emails to and from the governor's office. The CPUC has come up with a plan forcing ratepayers to pay $3.3 billion toward the closing of San Onofre. However, the problems at San Onofre were clearly caused by management and the cost should be picked up by stockholders, Aguirre and Severson argue.