Confidential emails ought to jog the memory

Commissioner Florio attended post-Warsaw huddle with Peevey

Michael Peevey, Michael Florio, Stephen Pickett
  • Michael Peevey, Michael Florio, Stephen Pickett

Previously undisclosed emails between Southern California Edison and the California Public Utilities Commission, received this week by San Diego attorney Mike Aguirre, reveal that there was a post-Warsaw huddle not long after former commission president Michael Peevey returned from the now-famous clandestine meeting of March 2013. Aguirre got the documents under the California Public Records Act.

As previously revealed by local media, Peevey sketched an outline of a settlement by which ratepayers would get stuck with $3.3 billion of the $4.7 billion costs of decommissioning the San Onofre nuclear plant. Edison executive Stephen Pickett met with Peevey in Warsaw, but the company did not reveal the meeting, as required by CPUC rules, until much later.

It appears Edison energy division director Edward Randolph was on the Warsaw trip, although it is not clear that he was in on the secret meeting with Pickett and Peevey.

Peevey is now under state and federal criminal investigation. It is against CPUC rules for a commissioner to try and influence a decision before it comes before a commission vote. In this case, the commission ultimately approved the plan, which was similar to what Peevey sketched out.

Now, a key email has surfaced.

On March 31, 2013, Edison's Randolph emailed Michael Florio, then the commissioner in charge of the case. Said Randolph: "Commissioner Peevey asked me to set up a meeting with him for you and me next Thursday after the commission meeting. (We were both having email problems in Poland so he asked me to set it up when I got back.) He suggest[s] lunch or dinner (but I need to be in Sacto late in the day). For now Commissioner Peevey would like to keep this meeting to just the three of us. I am happy to come by to explain the topic in person (or on the phone). Can we make something work for Thursday?"

Florio, who was later removed as commissioner on the case, replied to Randolph's March 31 email, "Lunch would be fine. THANKS and welcome back!"

Florio has claimed that he didn't hear about the settlement plan until it was announced. He has stuck with that story to the U-T, suggesting that he doesn't remember what was discussed at the post-Warsaw huddle with Peevey and Randolph — but is certain it was not about the March 2013 secret Warsaw huddle.

The new batch of emails Aguirre received has other eyebrow-arching items — one of them an email in which Peevey exults that Wall Street approves the settlement. (Of course Wall Street loved it. It barely nicked shareholders and put the burden on ratepayers, who had nothing to do with the management errors that led to the shutdown.)

(corrected 6/27, 5:55 a.m.)

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I can't remember what we talked about but it wasn't about the March 2013 Warsaw meeting.

Now that's funny.

MichaelValentine: Yes, the responses by CPUC and Edison officials are generally laughable. Both are using their clout to try to keep the matter out of court, so they won't have to make statements such as this under oath. Best, Don Bauder

The all-time most concisely-worded perjury and confession of perjury?

Twister: It's not perjury if you say it to a newspaper reporter, which is the case here. I hope he has to say it under oath. Best, Don Bauder

Barbara Stevens: Yes, all along, Mike Aguirre and Maria Severson have done a yeoman job getting these documents. Best, Don Bauder

Don - Here are three of my comments from your previous article that also bear on this one, enjoy:

http://m.sandiegoreader.com/news/2015/jun/24/ticker-reverse-rape-ratepayer/#c188298 - CaptD

Don - RE: "who on the CPUC staff holds or held stock in the three publicly-held utilities (PG&E, Edison, Sempra) -- and are they held in secret offshore caches?"

I think the stock accounts of the families (of all those you mentioned) should also be examined, since their accounts would be the "safest" place for insiders to acquire stocks that would benefit from their "insider trading," while allowing them to deny that they held the stock themselves! I bet the SEC has forensic auditors that could spot these and many other "tricks" should it be required during the investigation.


http://m.sandiegoreader.com/news/2015/jun/24/ticker-reverse-rape-ratepayer/#c188299 - CaptD

Don - Most San Diegans don't even realize that SDG&E is a 20% Owner of San Onofre but you can be sure that both SDG&E and its parent Sempra are doing every thing they can to use their considerable influence to limit, if not stifle, any discussion about this $5 Billion Debacle in the MSM, hoping that all their local San Diego ratepayers are mislead into thinking that since this is happening far away from San Diego, there is nothing they can do about it, since it does not affect them!

+ http://m.sandiegoreader.com/news/2015/jun/24/ticker-reverse-rape-ratepayer/#c188300 - CaptD Diogenes - I heard Michael Aguirre speak at the last CPUC meeting held in San Diego where he was not only eloquent but after calling out all those that were using their speakers time to recite SDG&E PR material, he praised the many hard working and honest employees of the CPUC and asked them to help him call out those at the CPUC that have taken advantage of ratepayers by making a mockery of the CPUC. Hopefully some employees of the CPUC will step forward and do just that.

===> Want more info, please Google #SanOnofreGate or input #sanonofregate into Tweeter's search box. This Twitter hashtag will allow you to keep up to date on all the articles relating to the ongoing investigation into the multi-billion $ SCE-CPUC ripoff.

CaptD: Yes, SDG&E has kept a low profile in the conflagration, but does own 20 percent of San Onofre. It has filed to say it wants the rape of the ratepayer to remain in force without any change. That says much about SDG&E and Sempra management, I am sorry to say.

Actually, one has to wonder how many hard-working and honest CPUC employees there are. Certainly, there are honest people at lower and middle levels. But just about anyone near the top of the CPUC in the Peevey years has to be viewed with suspicion. Peevey ran the place with an iron fist and anybody with open eyes had to know it, and also know that it was being run corruptly. But employees did not rebel and to this day the staff is trying to cover up for the Peevey sins, even though he is out. Best, Don Bauder

What a gravy train! What "contribution" did TURN make? What did TURN receive?

Maybe people will appreciate the jury system more where witnesses can be cross-examined and documents can be subpoenaed.

These "show-and-tell" commissions are a total joke. The CPUC rewards those intervenors who go along by awarding huge fee awards, and those who do not go along are deemed not to have made a "contribution, " and they are awarded nothing.

Some intervenors actually stated in their briefs that they were supporting the settlement because it would be hopeless to oppose the "deal." This was after writing 20 pages of facts that questioned the settlement.

Those fake non-profit organizations that received donations and, who, in turn, appeared and supported the settlement, should be publicly shamed. SCE paraded these organizations in front of the audience and reporters to astroturf the settlement. Nobody can ask, "How much did your little organization receive?"

What a total fraud, charade, and kangeroo court! It never passed the smell test. You could see that the fix was in.

Enron-at-San Onfre! Neither political party cares because of the contributions to their candidates' campaigns. I hope the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upholds the theory of taking without due process in violation of the 5th Amendment.

There always has to be judicial review of any commission. If not, arbitrary decisions are encouraged, and paticipants rewarded for bad conduct.

What outrageous conduct! This was a swindle and a cover-up using extreme misconduct. It involved billions of dollars and was designed to conceal public endangerment by the operator.

Diogenes: The nonprofit organizations that get donations from utilities, and then are trotted out at public hearings to laud a deal that screws the public are indeed shameful. And, unfortunately, there plenty of them. Utilities pack public hearings with them.

People who supported the San Onofre rape of the ratepayer were saying that if Edison got anything less, the matter would be tied up in court for years. That was an extremely weak argument. Someone from TURN used it on me. Best, Don Bauder

Again, I repeat: ALL such fiefdoms (e.g., Port Authorities) should be dissolved and replaced with public-interest entities that are answerable to the people.

Twister: But how do you dissolve fiefdoms in a city like San Diego run by the corporate welfare mendicants? Best, Don Bauder

At the state level. School Boards are another fight . . .

But first, it will take some good writing by a good investigative reporter.

Twister: In more than 50 years in this business, I haven't taken on school boards -- at least I can't remember having done so. Best, Don Bauder

Would love to see you take on school boards, Don. Especially the large East County one.

Wabbitsd: I agree that East County would be a good place for some investigative reporter to start. Best, Don Bauder

Mike Murphy: It is something to wish for, but I wouldn't be the farm on it. Best, Don Bauder

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