Investigation reveals CPUC Chair Peevey failed to disclose donations from PG&E
- Outgoing California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Chair Michael Peevey failed to file disclosure forms for hundreds of thousands of dollars he requested from Pacific Gas & Electric, a company the CPUC regulates, according to a local news investigation.
- NBC Bay Area found that Peevey failed to file the necessary Form 803 disclosure document when he accepted money from PG&E for a political campaign and the commission's 100 year anniversary party. Failure to file the form when required is punishable as a misdemeanor with penalties including fines and removal from office.
- The controversy dates back to May 2010, when emails were exchanged between PG&E employees and the CPUC Chair. The emails appear to outline not only what Peevey wanted, but what PG&E needed as well, according to NBC Bay Area. Critics say the messages illustrate a quid-pro-quo exchange of favors, which could break California corruption laws.
Emails from May 2010 show Brian Cherry, the vice president of regulatory affairs at PG&E, writing to a colleague and saying that Peevey expected the utility to "step up big" with donations to oppose Proposition 23, a ballot measure. He also wrote that Peevey expected a donation of $100,000 to a party-planning committee for the CPUC's 100 year anniversary celebration.
NBC Bay Area reports Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has confirmed Peevey did not disclose the $20,000 that PG&E contributed to the anniversary party, nor the $650,000 that PG&E gave to the fight to defeat Proposition 23, which would have gutted California's climate change policies.
Shortly after the contributions, Peevey lent his support to PG&E's proposal to raise electricity rates, a move critics say raises questions of corruption.
“You cannot say please pay for my dinner, please pay for my party and please pay for the initiative I like in exchange for favorable treatment from my state appointment,” former CPUC President Loretta Lynch told NBC Bay Area.
- NBC Bay Area Utility Regulator in More Legal Trouble Over Emails?
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