By Jeff McDonald
March 2, 2015 – 4:46 p.m.

Document: Commissioner Florio emails with Southern California Edison

The state utility regulator who recused himself from future Pacific Gas & Electric business after his behind-the-scenes emails were released publicly has taken part in similar backchannel discussions with Southern California Edison, newly obtained records show.

In one email obtained by U-T San Diego, California Public Utilities Commission member Michael Florio referred to his “‘regular’ Wednesday 1:30 call” with Edison officials.

In another, he discussed a rate-setting case with a company executive while the application was still pending — even after the Edison representative raised questions about whether the communication was allowed.

“Thank you Akbar — I was just trying to follow through on the training you’ve given me over the years!!” Florio responded to Edison Vice President Akbar Jazayeri in 2012. “I don’t see an ex parte problem as we’re just working out numbers on a technical level.”

Commissioners are not supposed to have so-called ex parte communications about pending applications, as they are supposed to make impartial decisions based on documents and testimony in the public record.

If they do have private conversations of any substance on a pending matter, the discussion must be disclosed within three days.

Florio did not respond to repeated requests about his emails to Edison, the majority owner of the failed San Onofre nuclear power plant that is costing ratepayers $3.3 billion in costs from its premature closure.

Commission spokeswoman Terrie Prosper said the Edison emails to and from Florio were not improper because they were not meant to influence the commissioner.

“The communications you cite are regarding our oversight of the company, not about lobbying,” she said. “The calls mentioned were during the immediate aftermath of the (San Onofre) outage and ended when the CPUC opened a proceeding.”

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