Skip to main content

ALERT: KPBS 89.5FM is undergoing scheduled upgrade work which may result in a temporary signal outage. Click here to listen on our radio stream.

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Justice

Judge Connected To San Onofre Investigation Retires

Administrative Law Judge Melanie Darling stalled a probe into the closure of the nuclear power plant.

The judge who presided over the California Public Utilities Commission's investigation into the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is retiring.

The move by Administrative Law Judge Melanie Darling comes after revelations in an affidavit from a state criminal investigation into what went wrong at the plant, which was shut down after a radiation leak in 2012. The affidavit shows Darling discussed an alteration to a proposed settlement for San Onofre's shutdown costs with executives at Southern California Edison, the plant's operator.

A PUC spokesman says Darling's retirement has nothing to do with the affidavit. Another judge, Marilyn A. Bushey, has been assigned to the San Onofre case.

Even before last week's revelation in the affidavit, Darling had been criticized for phone calls and private email exchanges with Edison executives. In one email, she asked whether an incriminating report about what Edison knew about potential flaws in its new steam generators before they were installed would ever be made public.

Earlier this year, Darling ruled that Edison executives engaged in 10 unreported communications with the CPUC regarding San Onofre, which is against the agency's rules.


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Photo of Amita Sharma

Amita Sharma
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs an investigative reporter for KPBS, I've helped expose political scandals and dug into intractable issues like sex trafficking. I've raised tough questions about how government treats foster kids. I've spotlighted the problem of pollution in poor neighborhoods. And I've chronicled corporate mistakes and how the public sometimes ends up paying for them.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.