Fierce Energy reports that the City of San Bruno and the CPUC have reached a settlement in the City's suit over CPUC's violations of the public records act. In exchange for dropping its suit and agreeing to assume its own legal expenses, the City will finally get access to the documents it's been requesting for more than a year.
CPUC thinks it's scored big time in the settlement because it always intended to hand over the documents anyhow:
"The CPUC is committed to facilitating access to records requested under the California Public Records Act and always intended to meet the broad public records requests of the City of San Bruno," said CPUC interim General Counsel Karen V. Clopton in response to the allegations. "The delay in doing so was due to the breadth of the city's requests, the volume of records to be located and reviewed, and the limited availability of staff resources to conduct a comprehensive search and review. Under the settlement, the CPUC has produced records that it would have made publicly available regardless of the complaint."
"[The] disclosure (from more than 7,000 pages of documents received after San Bruno filed the Public Records Act lawsuit against the CPUC) demonstrates an ongoing, illicit and illegal relationship between the CPUC and PG&E," said San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane in a statement. "Not only do these private communications violate the law, but they provide evidence of a relationship between the utility and the CPUC that is familiar, collegial and cozy."
The private emails over the past 36 months are alleged to expose more than 40 violations of the law against ex parte contact by Peevey and top CPUC staff in the San Bruno case.
In a statement, the City of San Bruno said: "We cannot have the same man who has proven to be biased presiding over the so-called 'penalties' that the CPUC will levy against PG&E. Nor should the citizens of our state be endangered by the CPUC's inability to ensure pipeline safety issues."