By Ken StoneGov. Jerry Brown is keeping a lid on dozens of emails containing ”embarrassing facts detailing possible criminal activity by government officials,” say a pair of San Onofre nuclear plant shutdown critics.
Former San Diego City Attorney Mike Aguirre and law-firm colleague Maria Severson are calling on state Attorney General Kamala Harris to release what they call Brown’s “secret San Onofre files.”
The letter asks Harris and her deputy attorney general, Paul Stein, to waive the governor’s claim of executive privilege regarding 67 emails on the grounds that regulatory malfeasance and errors by the California Public Utilities Commission have resulted in 22 deaths from utility disasters.
The deaths include a PUC employee and her daughter from a “PG&E-caused” natural gas pipe explosion in San Bruno, said a statement by the pair.
Aguirre and Severson contend that Brown’s choice to replace Michael Peevey as president of the PUC — Michael Picker — led to a publicly funded bailout of Southern California Edison’s San Onofre nuclear plant.
“In order for Peevey’s publicly funded bailout of the failed nuclear plant to succeed, Mr. Picker needed to approve what was essentially an unlawful cover-up of criminal activities by the CPUC and SCE,” the critics said.
Aguirre and Severson have speculated that this approval may have required the cooperation of Brown or his chief of staff, a former utility employee named Nancy McFadden.
During his first months in office, Picker received or sent 64 emails to top executives at SCE, and also sent or received 67 emails from the governor’s office regarding San Onofre, Aguirre and Severson contend.
“It is speculated that during this time, Picker was required to publicly approve the bailout scheme, despite knowing a California Department of Justice special agent had signed a sworn affidavit stating that the scheme was unlawful,” they said of the $3.3 billion deal.
As California’s top law enforcement official, Harris has refused to divulge these public records, the critics said.
According to Aguirre, “The public believes the CPUC has abandoned its duty to ensure just and reasonable rates in favor of unjust and unreasonable utility profits.”
The Attorney General’s Office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: