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Investigation intensifies into CPUC's back-door communications with PG&E

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On Thursday, three investigators showed up with a search warrant and seized documents and other material from the CPUC's office in San Francisco as part of its investigation of the regulator's back-door communication with PG&E.

The California Attorney General's office has intensified its probe of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

On Thursday, three investigators showed up with a search warrant and seized documents and other material from the CPUC's office in San Francisco as part of its investigation of the regulator's back-door communication with PG&E.

The CPUC, the state's utility regulator, has been under fire for allegedly having an unlawful relationship with PG&E.

"This is very good news and confirms the city's long-standing concern about the inappropriately cozy relationship between the PUC and PG&E," said Connie Jackson, San Bruno's city manager.

Since the massive San Bruno pipeline explosion four years ago, city leaders have been relentless in getting the CPUC and PG&E to release years of documents. Among the most damaging emails that have been made public pertain to PG&E's attempt to get a specific judge assigned to a rate-setting case.

Carol Brown, who was then-Chief of Staff to CPUC President Michael Peevey, is asked by PG&E's Brian Cherry in an email, "Any news on the reassignment?"

Brown replies, "Working on it, I hope all the mess is worth it."

Cherry responds, "You will own me if you do."

Mark Toney of TURN, The Utility Reform Network, hopes the investigation will target the right people. "People who get charged are the scapegoats who didn't have power and were just following orders. I think there's a difference. We want to make sure that the people at the top don't get a free walk," he said.

People at the top, like CPUC President Peevey, who is resigning in December. But San Bruno city leaders say they want to see justice. "We'd like to see justice be done. If charges are appropriate we'd certainly support that," explained Jackson.

The CPUC had no comment.

Related Topics:
explosionPG&Ecalifornia public utilities commissionSan Bruno firesearchemailsSan BrunoSan FranciscoSacramento
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