Emails suggest PG&E broke rules, had cozy relationship with regulators

Byby Sergio Quintana KGO logo
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Emails suggest PG&E may have broken the law and had cozy relationship with state regulators.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A second batch of emails released in the last few weeks shows PG&E may have broken the rules. The emails also seem to illustrate a cozy relationship between the company and state regulators charged with keeping an eye on the utility.

As a result of the first batch of emails, the President of the California Public Utilities Commission recused himself from PG&E gas transmission rate proceedings and had his chief of staff resign.

Now, a second commissioner, Mike Florio, is implicated in this latest batch of emails. Florio is in several messages between former PG&E Vice President Brian Cherry and other PG&E staff members.

Florio wrote to Cherry saying: "Dana Williamson from the Governor's office may be calling today to ask similar questions, so you should probably warn him... Nothing like trying to fix things the day before the meeting. Let sanity prevail."

Florio says he was trying to get information from PG&E to satisfy questions from officials in San Bruno and San Carlos.

"I think my biggest concern is that for people who don't know my history are going to think somehow I'm being buffaloed by PG&E and, in fact, I think my whole career has been one of not taking what PG&E says at face value," said Florio about the emails.

Cherry was released from the company last month because of these emails that seem to show a very cozy relationship between him and regulators.

Utilities are obligated to report all their communications with commissioners and these emails are part of a filing by the company, which suggest that it did not do that entirely.

This all comes as the commission is weighing more than a billion dollars in fines following the San Bruno disaster and response.