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Politics

Edison Executive Admits To Private Conversation With Peevey

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Southern California Edison revealed Monday that one of its executives had a private conversation with former state Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey over the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station closure in northern San Diego County.

So-called "ex parte" talks between regulatory and utility officials are required to be reported to the PUC, and the discussion between the now retired Peevey and Stephen Pickett, a former Edison executive vice president of external relations, was not.

According to an Edison statement, Pickett initially said it was a one-way conversation with Peevey doing all the talking at a May 2013 industry event. Pickett reported last week that the conversation about the shuttered nuclear plant was more substantial, prompting Monday's disclosure, SCE's statement said.

San Diego-based lawyer Michael Aguirre, a fierce critic of a deal that parcels out the financial costs of the San Onofre shutdown and of Peevey in particular, called it "a breathtaking admission of guilt."

State investigators last month searched the Los Angeles County home Peevey shares with his wife, Sen. Carol Liu, in La Canada-Flintridge, in connection with a judge-shopping investigation, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Peevey stepped down from the PUC when his term ended in December.

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