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Turmoil within PUC after higher-ups ‘reassign’ four lead PG&E investigators

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Another lapdog moment in the state Public Utilities Commission’s storied relationship with PG&E? Now that the PUC is about to make its case for whether the company should be penalized more than $2 billion for violating safety rules leading to the San Bruno disaster, the four lead lawyers who’d worked the case for more than two years have been abruptly re-assigned.

Sound smelly? Wait, there’s more. It appears the re-assigned lawyers weren’t playing ball with their PUC superiors, who instead of fining the utility for its misdeeds, are leaning toward a disciplinary solution more to PG&E’s liking, which is to let it go with making $2.25 billion worth of fixes to the company’s self-neglected natural-gas system. Oh, and did we mention that by going that route PG&E stands to reap $900 million in tax breaks? Chronicle’s Jaxon Van Derbeken writes about it.

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