Capitol Alert

Amid report Michael Peevey’s home searched, Jerry Brown praises PUC

Gov. Jerry Brown attends a news conference on a rooftop filled with solar panels in San Francisco on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015.
Gov. Jerry Brown attends a news conference on a rooftop filled with solar panels in San Francisco on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. The Sacramento Bee/David Siders

SAN FRANCISCO – Even as it was reported that state investigators seized computers and other items from Michael Peevey’s home, Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday offered only praise for the former president of the California Public Utilities Commission.

“With the new concerns about Mr. Peevey,” Brown was asked at a news conference, “how confident are you in the work that the PUC has done in the past and is doing now?”

Brown responded by asking in what areas the reporter meant, and was told “just generally.”

Said Brown, “Well … I once moved some furniture and the fellow tried to charge me too much and I was able to cite a PUC rate tariff and got a 50 percent reduction, so I have a lot of confidence that the PUC does a lot of very good work, particularly in the renewable energy field.”

He added, “And in that regard Mr. Peevey has been a real champion in advancing the state’s environmental goals.”

Brown’s remarks came hours after the San Francisco Chronicle reported that agents with the state attorney general’s office executed a search warrant Tuesday at the home of Peevey and his wife, state Sen. Carol Liu.

The agents also seized items from the home of former PG&E executive Brian Cherry, according to the newspaper.

Brown is a long-time supporter of Peevey’s, holding fast even as Peevey and the PUC came under scrutiny last year for back-channel communications with PG&E following a gas line explosion that killed eight people in San Bruno in 2010.

Brown was in San Francisco with Julián Castro, the U.S. secretary of housing and urban development, to announce plans to expand access to financing for energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades in multi-family housing projects.

Here is the Democratic governor addressing that issue:

Call David Siders, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1215. Follow him on Twitter @davidsiders.

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