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Grand Jury Probes Utility's Ties With California Regulators

(AP) - A federal grand jury is probing potentially illegal ties between executives with California's largest utility and state regulatory officials.

The San Francisco Chronicle says Friday that the investigation focuses on Pacific Gas and Electric Co. executives and regulators with the California Public Utilities Commission.

Further details were not immediately available.

The probe is different from a federal court case charging the utility with violating safety laws and obstructing justice in connection with the 2010 pipeline explosion in San Bruno, south of San Francisco, that killed eight people.

Prosecutors in that case are seeking more than $1 billion in fines from the company, but have not charged individual executives, the newspaper reports.

Officials with the U.S. attorney's office declined to comment. Representatives of the utilities commission were not immediately available.