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Open Letter To PG&E Vice President Brian Cherry

Letter to PG&E, FBI, CPUC, SAG and Walnut Creek

The Cherry Letter

During week prior Pete Bennett attempted to meet with PG&E Executives regarding issues with the San Bruno Explosion, the theft of PG&E documents from his laptop during a July 7th, 2011 arrest. Instead he was met with threats of arrests.

Dead Witness

Pete Bennett called your offices many times warning about the stolen PG&E Documents.

Saturday July 26th 2014

Mr. Brian Cherry
77 Beale Street, Room 1087
San Francisco, CA 94105

Mail Code B10C
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
P.O. Box 770000
San Francisco, CA 94177
415.973.4977
Internal: 223.4977
Fax: 415.973.7226
Internet: BKC7@pge.com

Re: San Bruno Fire September 2010

  1. Possible Domestic Terrorism Access 
    • Valves, Gas Lines, Fuel Lines and related infrastructure information 
  2. Metcalf Station Maps 
    • Possible connection to Sniper Attack 
  3. PG&E Software Sub Contractor Dispute 
    1. Connected accidents and several attempted murders of this vendor
    2.  Ravenel Enterprises - False PG&E Projects / Internal Security Breach
  4. SharePoint Documents Stolen From Laptop
  5. Impact on my Sons 
    1. When PG&E welches on it's vendor People end homeless
      1. When you don't pay your bills it actually effects others
    2. One near fatal accident in 2005 
    3. The Perfect Arson Target for my connection to the Gas Pipeline Explosions 
Dear Mr. Cherry,

I am writing to express my concerns over the handling of my complaints in regards to following events related to payments or lack of, several hit and runs targeting this former PG&E vendor and related information connecting the 2004 Kinder Morgan Fire in Walnut Creek CA, several fires in Walnut Creek, the kidnapping of a PG&E Employee working in the same building Wiget address where project meetings were held and the near pathetic indifferent response from PG&E security, the legal department, outside legal counsel Attorney Kate Dyer and internal PG&E resources who've been fully informed about the many attempts on my life since being contracted to PG&E post explosion efforts.

Paying Your Vendors (me) vs. Leaving me to be hit by cars 

Around 9:00 AM today (7/26/14) another attempt was made to hit me in a crosswalk.  Last year my roommate was mugged resulting in severe head injury, my other roommate was David Bremer was murdered somewhere between Walnut Creek to Martinez Detention Facility (MDF)) where he was beaten to death.

He was a nice kid sad story here in Contra Costa County where we should really call this place Cold Case County as we have blacks hanging from trees back in the 80s, where little old Japanese Ladies (Fake Tip Line) burn to death on remote road,  where the Town of Lafayette Chief Christiansen refused to investigate my July 20th, 2011 accident but lest not forget I was nearly killed while working on the deadliest gas pipeline explosion in the country.

PG&E Security, Inside and Outside Counsel

A few weeks ago I visited PG&E Offices in an attempt to resolve the Ravenell issues.  My goal was to get paid but instead I was left outside with the three goons.  We'll tell the goons that once again someone tried to run me today and this time they missed again but it was close.

Outside Counsel Attorney Kate Dyer 


  1. Possible Domestic Terrorism Access 
    • Valves, Gas Lines, Fuel Lines and related infrastructure information 
  2. Metcalf Station Maps 
    • Possible connection to Sniper Attack 
  3. PG&E Software Sub Contractor Dispute 
    1. Connected accidents and several attempted murders of this vendor
    2.  Ravenel Enterprises - False PG&E Projects / Internal Security Breach
  4. SharePoint Documents Stolen From Laptop
  5. Impact on my Sons 
    1. When PG&E welches on it's vendor People end homeless
      1. When you don't pay your bills it actually effects others
    2. One near fatal accident in 2005 
    3. The Perfect Arson Target for my connection to the Gas Pipeline Explosions 

The Core Issues Are:


  • The PG&E San Bruno Gas Line Explosion 
  • A PG&E Funded software development project with Ravenel Enterprises 
  • Possible Domestic Terrorism data breach
  • The Metcalf Sniper Attack 
  • Connections between the only two deadly Northern California Gas Pipeline/Fuel Line Explosions 
  • Domestic Terrorism Links related to pipe bombs 
  • The San Bruno Fire Gas Can Man
  • The Hillgrade Ave Pipe Bomb Events - Dangerous Downstream Valve Attack 
  • The Driscoll Murders Connected to the Kinder Morgan Fire 
  • The deceased witness
PG&E's Failure to Address Complaints 
On July 20th 2011 my car was totaled enroute to Lafayette CA from Walnut Creek.  At the time I was contracted to PG&E where unknowingly possessed thousands of pages of maps, GPS, sensitive internal documents, litigation sensitive files, and was essentially by definition facing criminal imprisonment over Child Support a problem developed over issues related to persons now in Federal Prison

I'm also betting they are now key suspects in many primarily East Bay arson fires which in brief several are highlighted below


  1. Attorney Don Moats at 1776 Ygnacio Valley Road 2001
  2. August 2004 Bennett Truck Fire (arson) NB 680 Danville
  3. November 2004 Kinder Morgan 
  4. March 2010 Piedmont Fire - Pictures by SFPD Lt. David Oberhoffer
  5. Sept 2010 San Bruno Fire

There are many East Bay Fires started by molotov cocktails being tossed through businesses along with far too many restaurant fires of which several are businesses connected to my former Commercial Cabinet Shop Projects back in the 80s.


Incident Overview  


  1. PG&E High Performance Engineer 
    1. Hugh SmithSenior Performance Engineer at PG&E 
    2. His connection to a SFPD Lt. David Ober



    1. Suicide Connected to SCADA Control Expert 
    2. The San Bruno Fire Gas Can Man 
    3. PG&E Vendor Ravenel Enterprises 
      1. How did I get through your background checks 
      2. Why has PG&E ignored my concerns about this vendor 
      3. Critical PG&E Data 


    The Blogs - why they are here

    Throughout my blog you'll find references to many incidents that go far beyond the Explosions.

     I've endured pre/posts San Bruno Fire and pre Kinder Morgan Explosions.  Lafayette Police's handling of my 2011 accident which was they refused to handle it meaning no police report, no investigation and tough luck you were almost killed.

    Attacks now almost weekly



    A Mid-August 2004 Jet Fueled Arson



    Gas Transmission Group Incidents 

    Your Vendor

    Pete Bennett


    PG&E in the Gas Transmission Group as a High Performance Engineer.

    CC: City Of Lafayette
    City Of Walnut Creek Legal Department
    CHP State of California Threat Assessment Group
    Town of Danville
    CEO Michael Fleming CSAC Excess Insurance Authority (EIA)

    Jake O'Malley
    Executive Risk Manager, 1911 San Miguel Dr., #200, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, (925) 943-1100 - jomalley@mpa-nc.com


    go to top  Michael Fleming CEO
    CSAC Excess Insurance Authority, 75 Iron Point Circle, Suite 200, Folsom, CA 95630, (916) 850-7300


    Addendums

    PG&E Software Sub Contractor Dispute

    In March 2011 I was contracted to PG&E at the rate of $65 per hour to develop tracking databases in highly fluid project connected to the HydroTesting, the San Bruno Fire and Welding all of which are connected to this US Grand Jury Indictment where I personally appreciate the gusto of Senator Jerry who is out there shouting for his constituents which in contrast State Senator Mark DeSaulnier

    Coming soon . ..  Possible Domestic Terrorism Links

    Without great detail at this time there are numerous connections to the PG&E and Kinder Morgan Fire.  I've met probing PI's, probing investigators, law enforcement personnel and respective investigators who all have come to me.  The only time I reached out directly was to CAL Fire Pipeline Safety Group, then later to EBMUD who are fully informed about my position about deaths near their catastrophic event.


    Disposition of Highly Sensitive PG&E Documents Stolen From Laptop  

    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          .
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          ..
    06/22/2013  04:28 PM    <DIR>          Checklists and Templates
    06/22/2013  04:28 PM    <DIR>          Clearance Team Schedule and Assignments
    06/22/2013  04:28 PM    <DIR>          Documentation and Training Development
    06/22/2013  04:28 PM    <DIR>          Environmental
    06/22/2013  04:28 PM    <DIR>          Financials
    06/22/2013  04:28 PM    <DIR>          General Video Photos
    06/22/2013  04:28 PM    <DIR>          Hydro-Test Program Process Manual
    06/22/2013  04:28 PM    <DIR>          Hydrotest Google Maps files
    06/22/2013  04:28 PM    <DIR>          Hydrotest Program Presentations
    06/22/2013  04:28 PM    <DIR>          Incident Command System (ICS)
    06/22/2013  04:28 PM    <DIR>          Master Test Plan-Profiles
    06/22/2013  04:28 PM    <DIR>          Operations
    06/22/2013  04:28 PM    <DIR>          Program Management Office
    06/22/2013  04:28 PM    <DIR>          Project Coordinator Assignments
    06/22/2013  04:28 PM    <DIR>          Public Outreach
    06/22/2013  04:28 PM    <DIR>          SAFETY
    06/03/2011  11:28 AM    <DIR>          sandbox
    06/22/2013  04:28 PM    <DIR>          Schedule For Video Assessments
    06/22/2013  04:29 PM    <DIR>          Site Locations _ Emergency Facilities
    06/22/2013  04:29 PM    <DIR>          T-1 - L021A
    06/22/2013  04:29 PM    <DIR>          T-10 L-105C
    06/22/2013  04:29 PM    <DIR>          T-100 1816-01
    06/22/2013  04:29 PM    <DIR>          T-101 1816-01
    06/22/2013  04:29 PM    <DIR>          T-109 L-148
    06/22/2013  04:29 PM    <DIR>          T-11 L-105N
    06/22/2013  04:29 PM    <DIR>          T-12 L-105N
    06/22/2013  04:29 PM    <DIR>          T-13 L-105N
    06/22/2013  04:29 PM    <DIR>          T-14 L-105N
    06/22/2013  04:29 PM    <DIR>          T-15 L-105N
    06/22/2013  04:29 PM    <DIR>          T-16 L-105N
    06/22/2013  04:29 PM    <DIR>          T-17 L-105N
    06/22/2013  04:29 PM    <DIR>          T-18 L-107
    06/22/2013  04:29 PM    <DIR>          T-19 L-114
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-2 - L101
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-20 L-131
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-21 L-131
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-22 L-131
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-23 L-131
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-24  L-132
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-25 L-132
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-26 L-132
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-27 L-132
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-28 L-132
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-29 L-132
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-3  L-101
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-30 L-132
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-31 L-132
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-32 L-132
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-33 L-132
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-35 L-132
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-36 L-132
    06/22/2013  04:30 PM    <DIR>          T-38 L-132
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-39 L-132
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-4 L-101
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-40 L-132A
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-41 L-132A
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-42 L-147
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-43 L-147
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-44 L-153
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-45 L-153
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-46 L-153
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-47 L-153
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-50 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-51 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-52 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-53 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-54 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-55 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-56 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-57 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-58 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-59 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-6 L-101
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-60 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-61 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-62 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-63 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-64 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:31 PM    <DIR>          T-65 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-66 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-67 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-68 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-69A L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-69B L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-7 L-105A
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-70 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-71 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-72 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-73 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-74 L-300A
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-75 L-300A-1
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-76 L-300B
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-77 L-300B
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-78 L-300B
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-79 L-300B
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-8 L-105A
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-80 L-300B
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-81 L-300B
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-82 L-300B
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-83 L-300B
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-84 L-300B
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-85 L-300B
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-86 L-300B
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-87 L-300B
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-88 L-300B
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-89 L-300B
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-9 L-105A-1
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-90 L-300B
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-92 L-400
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-93 L-400-3
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-95 SP-3
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-96 SP-5
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-98 1816-01
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T-99 1816-01
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T111
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T112
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T34
    06/22/2013  04:32 PM    <DIR>          T49




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    State Attorney General Kamala Harris and PG&E

     Hey Thersa remember me? 




    Share:

    Governor Newsom what he knows as Mayor Newsom

    Share:

    Obstruction by Violence (18 U.S.C. 1512(a))

    https://www.everycrsreport.com/reports/RL34303.html

    Obstruction by Violence (18 U.S.C. 1512(a))

    Subsection 1512(a) has slightly different elements depending upon whether the offense involves a killing or attempted killing—18 U.S.C. 1512(a)(1)—or some other use of physical force or a threat—18 U.S.C. 1512(a)(2).6 In essence, they condemn the use of violence to prevent a witness from testifying, producing evidence for an investigation, or bringing a crime to the attention of authorities, and they set their penalties according to whether the obstructive violence used is a homicide, an assault, or a threat. In more exact terms, they declare:

    1512(a)(1)

    1512(a)(2)

    I. Whoever

    I. Whoever

    II. a. kills or

    b. attempts to kill

    II. a. uses physical force,

    b. attempts to use physical force,

    c. uses the threat of physical force, or

    d. attempts to use the threat of physical force

    III. with the intent to

    III. with the intent to

    a. prevent attendance or testimony at an official proceeding (i.e., a federal judicial, legislative or administrative proceeding)

    a. influence, delay, or prevent testimony at an official proceeding

    b. prevent the production of an item at an official proceeding

    b. cause or induce another to withhold testimony or an item at an official proceeding

    c. prevent the communication to U.S. law enforcement authorities of a federal offense or a violation of probation, parole, or supervised release.

    c. hinder, delay or prevent the communication to U.S. law enforcement authorities of a federal offense or a violation of probation, parole, or supervised release

     

    d. cause or induce another to alter, conceal or destroy an item with the intent to make unavailable

     

    e. cause or induce another to evade process

     

    f. cause or induce another to fail to comply with process

    IV. shall be punished under §1512(a)(3)

    IV. shall be punished under §1512(a)(3)

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    The PG&E Programmer gets beaten

    The Walnut Creek Public Library

    Pete Bennett former programmer for Contra Costa County beaten by the county.

    It's bad enough five relatives of Pete Bennett were murdered, just as bad was the murder of Officer Kenyon Youngstrom, then the suicide of City Attorney Mark Coon, man it's getting ugly around here.



    Working


    Attacking the Patron at the Walnut Creek Public Library

    Walnut Creek resident Pete Bennett, attacked by gaurd from Cypress Security, more of the same Contra Costa County witness intimidation.


    He's on the ground, his phone is broken and his laptop stored in his backpack was damaged.


    Attacking the Patron at the Walnut Creek Public Library

    Walnut Creek resident Pete Bennett, attacked by gaurd from Cypress Security, more of the same Contra Costa County witness intimidation.

    He's heading to Kaiser, he's in pain and pretty sure then his ribs were broken.









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    Disaster survivors to judge: Don’t let PG&E off of probation | Fire - Power - Money

     

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In the wake of the disaster that killed Sue Bullis’ teenage son, her husband, and her mother-in-law, a jury convicted the Pacific Gas and Electric Company of crimes punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

    After the 2010 San Bruno gas explosion, the sentence PG&E received for six federal felony convictions never seemed like full justice to her.

    “I was a little disappointed that it was only five years,” Bullis said.

    Over the 95 minutes it took PG&E to shut off the pipeline that ruptured, the San Bruno disaster burned a volume of gas containing the amount of energy found in a 12-kiloton nuclear bomb.

    It burned so intensely, rescuers were unable to identify any remains of Will Bullis, Sue’s son.

    Prosecutors did not file homicide charges for the deaths, but a jury did convict PG&E of five felony counts of willfully breaking federal pipeline safety laws and one count of obstruction of the federal investigation. The company had falsified documents given to NTSB investigators.

    Under American law, corporate entities that commit crimes can’t be sentenced to prison. PG&E automatically got a lighter sentence of probation, which federal law limits to a maximum of five years.

    PG&E’s federal probation began on January 26, 2017. Five years in almost up.

    ABC10 spoke to survivors from six different disasters sparked by PG&E for this story. All called on the federal judge in the case to keep PG&E on probation rather than allowing it to expire in January 2022.

    “Do I feel they're rehabilitated? No. I really feel they've shown little to no remorse,” Bullis said. “It’s just disgusting.”

    During each of its five years of probation, PG&E is accused or suspected of sparking at least one major wildfire. Collectively, the fires in question killed more than 100 people and burned tens of thousands of homes.

    If PG&E’s probation term does expire, it will happen in spite of at least 85 egregious violations of the first condition of its probation: “While on probation, PG&E shall not commit another federal, state, or local crime.”

    Last year, PG&E pleaded guilty to the felony manslaughter of 84 people and an additional felony for sparking the 2018 Camp Fire through the company’s reckless and criminally negligent maintenance practices.

    “If I was on probation and went and committed 85 more felonies, there would be consequences for that,” said retired firefighter Steve Bradley. “Family members, loved ones, my grandma: killed by PG&E, they were victims of PG&E.”

    PG&E has since been charged with new felonies and misdemeanors in the 2019 Kincade and 2020 Zogg Fires.

    The company disputes the charges, which include four counts of felony involuntary manslaughter.

    “This is a nightmare we will never wake up from,” said Suzie Bewley, whose 8-year-old granddaughter Feyla McLeod died in a pickup truck alongside her mom while running from the Zogg Fire. “No other family should have to go through this. We are all empty.”

    PG&E avoided criminal charges for a group of wildfires in 2017, but paid civil damages for fires that killed 44 people.

    The 2021 Dixie Fire is also under investigation for possible criminal charges against PG&E, whose power lines are the lone suspected cause. It is the largest single wildfire by acreage in California history.

    Despite those new disasters, several of which resulted in probation violations on PG&E’s record, the company is still set to get off of probation when the five years is up on Jan. 26, 2022.

    U.S. District Judge William Alsup, who supervises PG&E’s sentence, has said he doesn’t believe he can add time to PG&E’s probation.

    Survivors want him to try anyway, hoping to keep PG&E under court supervision until it can demonstrate the ability to deliver energy safely.

    “I don’t think the justice system ever envisioned this,” said former federal prosecutor Tom Johnson, who had tried corporate defendants before and is uninvolved in PG&E’s case. “[Probation] hasn’t functioned as it was intended to function.”

    Johnson says federal prosecutors count on corporate offenders to take criminal convictions seriously enough to avoid reoffending.

    “Because there's been more fires, more deaths, you would have to say PG&E is performing poorly,” Johnson said of PG&E’s record. “They are consistently, annually violating their probation. They're not being rehabilitated.”

    CAN THE FIVE YEAR LIMIT BE EXTENDED?

    PG&E’s additional disasters haven’t sat well with Judge Alsup.

    He’s called PG&E a “terror” and “recalcitrant criminal” that “deserves to be in prison.” He said PG&E was “robbing” money from safety to “enhance the bottom line.” 

    Since the Camp Fire, he’s said PG&E’s safety work is still “crappy.” He spelled that on the record: “C-R-A-P-P-Y.”

    Alsup went so far as to ask federal prosecutors whether he could add more years to PG&E’s probation.

    “The answer is not immediately clear,” the U.S. Attorney’s office in San Francisco replied in a brief. “The Court may have the authority to revoke PG&E’s probation and impose a new probation term of up to five years, but there appears to be no binding authority on point.”

    To a judge, this is a red flag.

    “They're essentially saying, ‘we don't think you can do it, but if you want to, here's what you would do,’” Johnson said.

    Put simply: Alsup would have to try to establish his authority to extend PG&E’s probation without precedent in past case law and without a federal statute that explicitly says he can.

    “The law actually says five years. That's it,” Johnson said. “I just think he's without options.”

    SURVIVORS: TRY ANYWAY

    ABC10 explained this shaky legal ground to the group of survivors who spoke with us for this story.

    They all had the same message to the judge.

    “I think it's very important that we try anyway,” Steve Bradley said. “Even if it fails, at least the attempt was made.”

    “[Judge Alsup] has that ability to… at least attempt to set the case law to where we can hold them accountable,” Bradley said.

    Bradley called PG&E’s 85 convictions for the Camp Fire the “perfect time” to set the precedent for punishing a corporate offender who violates probation, adding that he was more worried about the precedent that would be set by letting PG&E’s probation end.

    “It sets a tone for other corporations. It sets a precedent that they can save money at the expense of human lives,” Bradley said. “I understand we can’t put a building in jail, but there must be consequences.”

    “What’s frustrating to me is the fact that as a law enforcement officer, I saw consequences occur to felons who violated their probation,” former Chico police chief Kirk Trostle said in one of several video messages from survivors that ABC10 shared with the judge.

    Trostle lived in Paradise, where his house burned to the ground in the fire PG&E started.

    “PG&E executives and their board members were able to slaughter 85-plus members of our community in Paradise, yet there’s no consequence to their actions,” Trostle said. “It appears to me that PG&E, who are convicted felons, are living a felon’s Paradise.”

    Survivors of multiple PG&E disasters recorded these video messages asking U.S. District Judge William Alsup to attempt to keep PG&E on probation, which would be an unprecedented legal step. ABC10’s FIRE -POWER-MONEY investigation gathered the messages and shared them with the judge. 

    “How else do you hold these types to their crime,” said 2015 Butte Fire survivor Terry McBride in a video statement to the judge. “I ask that you seriously consider extending that period of time until they can prove they are worthy. Because all I’ve seen come out of [PG&E] are lies.”

    THE LEGAL ARGUMENT FOR MORE PROBATION: SAFETY

    Some attorneys see a good argument for Judge Alsup to try extending PG&E’s probation.

     “This isn’t just detention at school,” Santa Clara University law professor Catherine Sandoval. “You have 115 people who have died due to PG&E’s actions while on probation. If they were a person, not only would they be in jail, but they’d be looking at a death sentence.”

     “But there’s no corporate death sentence,” she added.

    Sandoval, who represents PG&E customers pro bono in the probation, agrees that PG&E is “guaranteed” to appeal any additional probation time.

    She agrees there’s a significant possibility that such an appeal from PG&E might succeed.

    But, she adds, the fact that PG&E pleaded guilty to 85 felonies during probation makes for a compelling case in favor of extending.

    As a former California public utilities commissioner who regulated the company, she fears California will be less safe if PG&E is allowed off probation.

    While the probation hasn’t managed to stop PG&E from sparking new disasters, Judge Alsup has repeatedly used probation to force PG&E to make changes in their wake.

    Sandoval says the probation has also played another important safety role: forcing PG&E to be more transparent about its wildfire problem.

    State investigations run by the CPUC, her former agency, tend to be secretive and slow.

    “We don’t find out the details for a year and a half. Or maybe much later,” Sandoval said.

    By contrast, Judge Alsup has forced PG&E to give him answers and evidence in a public setting.

    He ordered the company to release the first photo that showed the broken hook responsible for sparking the Camp Fire.

    The judge revealed PG&E contractors had marked the tree that fell on the power line that sparked the Zogg Fire.

    It’s how the families of the four people killed know PG&E could have fixed the safety problem, but didn't.

    Judge Alsup also brought to light facts explaining why PG&E’s safety shutoff program failed to prevent that fire.

    Most of the key details known about PG&E’s involvement in the 2021 Dixie Fire also became public through Alsup’s court.

    This kind of transparency will be gone if the probation supervision ends.

    “It is like a light on, light off. If you are off probation, you're off,” said Tom Johnson. “When the court supervision is gone, then it's gone, and then PG&E is a corporate entity that's going to act the way it's going to act.”

    CAN PG&E BE REHABILITATED?

    Asked to explain whether it has been rehabilitated and why it believes it deserves to get off of probation, PG&E did not directly answer.

    Instead, the company pointed to its recent 44-page end-of-probation report to the judge, filed exactly one week after PG&E’s probation officer slapped the company with a pair of new violations.

    PG&E’s report does not claim that the company is rehabilitated, but does claim that PG&E has made “progress.”

    Many of the examples it points to are changes Judge Alsup pushed for in the wake of new fires.

    PG&E also wrote that it “looks forward” to delivering energy safely “in the years ahead.”

    That makes no sense to Steve Bradley, who says PG&E shouldn’t get off probation until it has some disaster free years behind it.

    “I'd be happy with a couple of years, but I don't think five years is too much to ask,” Bradley said. “The rehabilitation of PG&E, it saves lives. Not only civilians, but my friends and family in Cal Fire.”

    Bradley urges Californians to ask whether rehabilitation is possible for this repeat corporate offender, which holds a monopoly license over power to 16 million people.

    “I don't know that PG&E as it exists, as we know it, can be rehabilitated,” Bradley said. “They clearly haven't been. I think the last five years have shown that. I think the question is can they be?”

    “I do know that power, electricity, gas can be delivered safely,” he added. “I just don't know if PG&E can do it on their own, without being forced into it.”

    Sue Bullis has seen enough. She sees PG&E as a corporation beyond redemption.

    “Nothing they could do at this point would satisfy me,” she said.

    She’s still a PG&E customer, something she has to deal with to avoid triggering her PTSD.

    “I don't open the bill. I let an accountant pay it,” Bullis said. “It's the insignia on the envelope and on the paperwork that I have a problem with. It just triggers me every single time I get the bill in the envelope.”

    GO DEEPER: This story is part of ABC10's FIRE - POWER - MONEY reporting project. If you have a tip that could reveal more about California's crisis with utilities and wildfires, please contact investigative reporter Brandon Rittiman at brittiman@abc10.com.

    Watch more from ABC10:

    ABC10’s investigation found California politicians kept taking money from PG&E after the company pleaded guilty to 84 felony manslaughters. Evidence of PG&E’s crimes is beginning to come out and the company faces new criminal investigations for sparking deadly, destructive wildfires.

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    The Observer: PG&E Probation Problems; Redistricting Update

     he Observer: PG&E Probation Problems; Redistricting Update

    Federal Judge Says PG&E May Have Violated Probation

    Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) apparently is once more in violation of its probation according to the federal judge overseeing the troubled electrical giant.

    This past September, the Shasta County D.A.’s Office filed criminal charges against PG&E in connection with the Zogg fire that left four people dead.

    Cal Fire investigators found that a tree toppled into PG&E overhead power lines, which ignited the firestorm that burned 56,000-plus acres, destroying more than 200 structures.

    Back in 2017, PG&E was placed on probation following the deadly 2010 San Bruno gas line explosion. This week PG&E’s probation officer stated, “There is probable cause to believe that the company while under probation violated the general condition of probation that they not commit another federal, state or local crime.

    Federal Judge William Alsup, who is in charge of the utility’s probation, found probable cause of the utility violating the conditions of its supervision. As a result, the judge could extend that probation period — ending next year — or revoke the sentence and re-sentence PG&E.

    Stephanie Bridgett, Shasta County’s district attorney, said in late September that PG&E “was reckless and criminally negligent” because it had not removed the tree that caused the Zogg Fire.

    Just a few weeks ago, Judge Alsup issued a request to PG&E for a final report asking what progress the utility company has made during its probation to improve public safety for both their gas and electric divisions. Alsup also wants PG&E to explain the reasons it has started wildfires and what it has done to prevent future fires.

    According to Reclaim Our Power, which is part of a coalition of California organizations that watchdogs the California Public Utilities Commission, PG&E’s problems continue to mount, as five counties filed lawsuits recently “for damages from the catastrophic Dixie Fire that the utility admits it likely caused. PG&E faces criminal charges from fires in 2019, 2020, and 2021 as well as revelations that hedge funds have taken billions in profits while fire survivors continue to be given slow, incomplete access to funds to recover damages caused by PG&E.”

    Speaking of PG&E, here’s a suggestion by Laytonville’s Robin Thomposon, a professional lumber grader, regarding what can be done with some of the trees being removed around the utility’s overhead infrastructure. Thompson sent his recommendation to 3rd District Supervisor John Haschak.

    Hi John,

    A concerted effort could have been made — by county administration, working with PG&E — to save all the merchantible softwood timber during the PG&E line clearing. Homeowners could then be paid stumpage at the mill, same as any timberland owner. Truckers & local mills would have benefitted. The whole program would have been more palatable to all that way… I had a gorgeous, long, commercially valuable fir log that I had to ask 4 different crew chiefs to leave alone. I come back, it’s been cut up: a 7′ here, a 5′ there, meaningless, ruinous short lengths! Does PG&E run this county or do we? Micro-millers had no chance to work or cooperate with PG&E. Softwood timbers, they could have produced, are quite valuable. Softwood plants from here to the border would lick their chops over all the gorgeous, mature & “grandfather” material that COULD HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE with a little fore thought, planning & implementation. Please forward this to your colleagues.

     

    Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, observer@pacific.net, the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District, and is also chairman of the Laytonville Area Municipal Advisory Council. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org

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