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Ernie Grimm 8:30 a.m., Oct. 13
Troubled Utility Consumers' Action Network (UCAN) has asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to pay it $535 an hour for the work that its former executive director, Michael Shames, did on the general rate case of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). The CPUC rewards intervenors who enter into discussions of a case with monetary compensation, called "intervenor compensation." Previously, Shames had asked for and received $330 a hour. But at those times, Shames was not a member of the bar and the CPUC pays more to attorneys. He later rejoined the bar at the insistence of UCAN's then-chairman. UCAN doesn't mention any of this in its application for remuneration for Shames's SDG&E work. Nor does it mention that Shames was let go, and is now suing UCAN, which is countersuing him. UCAN is also asking for $390 an hour for the work of Donald Kelly, who was brought in to be executive director after two others had departed after brief stays. Kelly was formerly a University of San Diego law student of Robert Fellmeth, who had come back to the UCAN board, although he has since left, leaving the door open for a later reappointment. Fellmeth had founded UCAN with Shames.
The state auditor is expected to release a report on intervenor compensation on July 23.