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Audit: Conflicts Of Interest, Improper Conversations, Trips To Foreign Countries For Public Utilities Commission

  

The California State Auditor's office says the California Public Utilities Commission appears to have been "improperly influenced in its public decision making."

The audit found former President Michael Peevey participated in a decision to approve a $152 million contract despite evidence he had been influenced by off -the-record conversations with utilities. Some of those discussions took place while Peevey was on international trips he received as gifts.

Commission members took 19 trips to foreign countries in the last five years

Margarita Fernandez is with the auditor's office.

“They need to really strengthen their contracting proceedings to ensure they are securing the best value for the rate payers because ultimately we're the ones who pay for all the costs that the utility company makes." 

The audit says the CPUC members improperly voted to direct energy utilities to contract with the California Center for Sustainable Energy and subcontractors for $74 million in program services.

The auditor's office is asking the Legislature to require the CPUC to adopt a standard for commissioners to recuse themselves when they have a conflict of interest and to promptly report private conversations with anyone who has business before the commission.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob is the Sacramento Region Reporter. He has been at the forefront of the coverage of the Sacramento Kings' saga and the effort to build a new arena in Sacramento. He also covers education, business, environment, and sports stories.   Read Full Bio