California Regulator Sued by City for Pacific Gas Records

California utilities regulators were sued by the city of San Bruno to turn over records relating to proceedings against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. over a 2010 natural-gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people.

The city claims the California Public Utilities Commission has failed to respond to public record requests for documents believed to show “improper conduct between senior management” at the agency and administrative judges who will determine whether to levy a recommended $2.45 billion penalty and fine against Pacific Gas over the accident, San Bruno Mayor Jim Ruane said in an e-mailed statement. The city’s complaint was filed in state court in San Francisco.

San Bruno officials are seeking an order to force the commission to comply with four public record requests, all relating to the agency’s oversight of the utility after the explosion that, in addition to eight fatalities, injured 66 and destroyed scores of homes. The commission’s press office didn’t immediately respond to a e-mail seeking comment on the lawsuit.

“The CPUC is reviewing the city of San Bruno’s lawsuit and will respond to the court as appropriate,” Terrie Prosper, a commission spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.

The agency has replied to several extensive records requests by the city, “and will continue to utilize our resources to evaluate and complete our responses,” she said. “ The CPUC remains focused on completing our investigations to assess penalties against PG&E for the pipeline rupture in San Bruno.”

Brittany Chord, a spokeswoman for PG&E, declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The case is City of San Bruno v. California Public Utilities Commission, California Superior Court (San Francisco).

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