Editorial: AG Must Follow Through on Michael Peevey Investigation

February 03, 2018

Mercury News and East Bay Times Editorial Boards

Three years have passed since then state Attorney General Kamala Harris opened an investigation of Michael Peevey’s atrocious behavior as president of the California Public Utilities Commission.

The lack of action on the case begs the question: Has it been swept under the rug?

It would be a travesty if current Attorney General Xavier Becerra let the statute of limitations run out and did not both complete the investigation and announce the result.

A spokesman for the attorney general said last week that the office does not comment on ongoing investigations. Nor would the spokesman comment on the statute of limitations — standard procedure since it could hint at the severity of charges being investigated.

Peevey’s home was raided in January 2015 on a search warrant to look for evidence of inappropriate “ex parte communications, judge-shopping, bribery, obstruction of justice or due administration of laws, favors or preferential treatment” related to Peevey’s work as PUC president from 2009-2015.

The investigators reportedly seized computers, smartphones and a thumb drive at his La Canada Flintridge home in Southern California.

Peevey’s inappropriate relationship with PG&E, the utility he was in charge of regulating, should have gotten him fired in the wake of the 2010 San Bruno explosion. But Gov. Jerry Brown inexplicably kept him on the job.

Peevey’s job was to protect California consumers. Instead he was PG&E’s biggest ally in fending off accountability for the San Bruno tragedy, a gas line explosion that killed eight people, injured 66 and destroyed 38 homes.