- Public utilities commissioner Timothy Simon (left), shown here with good friend, SDGE chief executive Jessie Knight, has cozy relationships with utilities.
The state’s utilities commission is a “constructive partner” of Sempra, echoes Mark Barnett of the Morningstar analysis firm. “Improved California regulation allows the company to collect best-in-class returns.”
The commissioner who is handling San Diego Gas & Electric’s attempt to stiff consumers is Timothy Alan Simon, who was appointed in early 2007 by former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, for whom Simon had been an aide. He had been recommended for the commission by California political powerhouse Willie Brown. Simon had been in bankruptcy for four years before his nomination, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times. Former utilities commission president Loretta Lynch was one of several knowledgeable people questioning whether someone with obvious financial woes should be named a commissioner. State senator Christine Kehoe of San Diego challenged Simon’s knowledge of utility issues.
San Diego attorney Michael Aguirre got an anonymous tip from inside the commission that at one of the meals, Simon committed himself to permit San Diego Gas & Electric to fleece its customers for uninsured fire costs.
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