By Jaxon Van Derbeken
April 29, 2015
The former head of the California Public Utilities Commission pressured two Southern California utilities last year to make donations to a school at UCLA where he then landed a post on an advisory board, documents revealed Wednesday show.
The panel’s then-president, Michael Peevey, urged that Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric Co. donate the money as part of a deal to shut down their jointly owned San Onofre nuclear power plant, which had been offline for more than a year because of steam generator problems, according to documents that Edison made public.
Peevey, who led the panel for 12 years, left in December under a cloud, the target of state and federal investigations into possible influence peddling stemming from deals he allegedly made with utilities. He has declined to comment about the probe.
In a search of Peevey’s Southern California home in January, state investigators found notes of a secret March 2013 meeting at a hotel in Poland with a Southern California Edison executive that appear to show the utility agreeing to earmark $20 million for greenhouse gas reduction research as part of a deal to close the nuclear plant.
The company denies it reached any such deal with Peevey, and when a tentative $4.8 billion deal on the San Onofre shutdown was reached in March 2014, it included no money for greenhouse gas research.
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