California Attorney General's Office Faces Scrutiny Over San Onofre Inquiry

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
By Amita Sharma
Credit: Associated Press
Above: Power lines make their way over a freeway toward the San Onofre nuclear power plant, June 7, 2013.

Questions are again being raised about the California Attorney General’s investigation of how consumers were left with a $3.3 billion bill for the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station.

Since the Attorney General’s Office opened its criminal probe in 2015 into secret dealings connected to the San Onofre settlement, the office made a number of decisions that may have weakened its own case.

For instance, instead of executing search warrants against Southern California Edison, the company responsible for operating the San Onofre power plant, and state regulators to seize evidence, the Attorney General’s Office chose to leave warrants with both entities and asked for records to be handed over.

RELATED: San Onofre Settlement Puts Ratepayers On Hook For $3.3B

The Attorney General’s Office represented Gov. Jerry Brown’s office when he refused to turn over communications related to the San Onofre case, communications that could have been crucial to the office’s own inquiry. In addition, the Attorney General’s Office did not file a key criminal charge in time.

Consumer lawyer Mike Aguirre has filed a lawsuit to get the San Onofre settlement overturned. He is now asking the Attorney General’s Office to provide information on how many investigators and lawyers were assigned to the San Onofre inquiry, how many witnesses have been interviews and for records of contact between the Attorney General’s Office, state regulators and Souther California Edison.

“It appears that the obstruction of justice investigation has been obstructed and it’s been allowed to peter out and so we want to get to the bottom of it and find out what’s going on,” Aguirre said.

The Attorney General’s communications department would not discuss the status of the investigation, however, they provided the following statement:

“To protect its integrity, we can’t comment on a potential or ongoing investigation.”