On March 23, 2023, the Butte County District Attorney confirmed that Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) filings in both the US Bankruptcy Court and before the Security and Exchange Commission correctly states the company was recently indicted by a Butte County Grand Jury and the utility plans to plead guilty as charged to all 85 felony counts in that indictment. The indictment itself is expected to be unsealed on April 24, 2020, when PG&E will appear before the Butte County Superior Court for the guilty pleas and sentencing, and the plea agreement is expected to be entered. However, the press release from the Butte County District Attorney explained that the indictment consists of 84 individual counts of Involuntary Manslaughter naming each person who died in the Camp Fire by PG&E’s criminal negligence, and one count of Unlawfully Causing a Fire, including three special allegations for PG&E’s causing great bodily injury to a firefighter; causing great bodily injury to more than one surviving victim; and causing multiple structures to burn.
This conviction comes on the heels of a finding, by a Federal Judge in San Francisco in late January, that PG&E violated the terms of probation it is serving for its criminal conviction related to the eight deaths related to the San Bruno gas line explosion in 2010, because it failed to properly report its role in the 2017 Honey Fire.
On the PG&E Bankruptcy front, PG&E’s Bankruptcy Plan continues its march toward approval by the Bankruptcy Court. On March 20, 2020, PG&E reached agreement on its restructuring plan with California’s Governor Newsom, which was a critical step toward approval of the bankruptcy plan by June 30, 2020, that would allow PG&E to emerge from bankruptcy.
Please contact Michael Postar
, Lisa Gast
, Peter Scanlon
, Sean Neal
, or Bhaveeta Mody