Kamala Harris became California Attorney-General, “not to join the system,” she tells us in a recent interview, “but to change it.”
How is it then, that Ms. Harris as California’s chief law enforcement officer, chose not to prosecute Michael Peevey, the notorious head of the state’s Public Utilities Commission who broke the law by conspiring in a Warsaw, Poland, hotel room with utility company reps to give $25 million to the California Center for Sustainable Communities as quid pro quo to have those utilities foot only $1.4 billion for closing the failed San Onofre nuclear power plant while their customers would pay a whopping $3.3 billion?
Peevey’s job was to protect California consumers, but though multiple investigations showed PG&E had put profits before safety in installing and testing gas lines, resulting in the San Bruno gas line explosion that killed eight people, injured 66 and destroyed 38 homes, Peevey served as PG&E’s biggest ally, fending off accountability and reportedly helping PG&E go judge-shopping for someone who would be sympathetic to the utility in deciding a $1.3 billion penalty phase.
Peevey was under criminal investigation for three years facing readily provable criminal conduct charges, but AG Harris allowed the statute of limitations to run out, relieving Peevey of any accountability before the law.
Co-incidentally, of course, Ms. Harris’s boss, Governor Jerry Brown, had publicly praised Peevey as “a man who gets things done.”
I hope the Independent’s editors will permit a reminder of this history, certainly relevant in an election year.