SAN FRANCISCO–The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has announced that it has opened a penalty consideration case against Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for violations of the CPUC’s ex parte rules.
The violations include failure to timely file ex parte communication notices with the CPUC and engaging in prohibited ex parte communications.
In opening the penalty consideration case, the CPUC determined that several ex parte notices filed by PG&E constitute an admission that PG&E knowingly failed to comply with the CPUC’s Rule 8: Communications with Decisionmakers and Advisors. The investigation is considering: 1) the sanctions that should be imposed for the violations, and 2) whether the violations also constitute a violation of Rule 1.1 of the Rules of Practice and Procedure regarding ethics.
Under California law, the CPUC can sanction utilities under its jurisdiction for violations by imposing a fine of $500 to $50,000 per violation payable to the state’s General Fund from shareholder funds, and/or by imposing other equitable remedies as it deems warranted.