The regulator overseeing an investigation into the failure of the San Onofre nuclear plant met privately with then-California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey days after Peevey returned from a secret meeting about the matter in Poland.
According to emails obtained by The San Diego Union-Tribune, Commissioner Michel Florio was invited to lunch with Peevey and CPUC Energy Division Director Edward Randolph in March 2013, almost as soon as the two returned from Warsaw.
Florio has asserted that he had no knowledge of the $4.7 billion settlement agreement for San Onofre shutdown costs until it became public one year later.
Florio told the Union-Tribune that he had no clear recollection of what was discussed at the lunch at Max’s Opera Cafe, but that it did not pertain to the secret meeting in Warsaw, which set a framework for the eventual settlement deal. He said it may have touched on other San Onofre matters.
According to the emails, Randolph wrote to Florio on March 31, 2013, “Commissioner Peevey asked me to set up a meeting with him for you and me next Thursday after the commission meeting. (We were both having email problems in Poland so he asked me to set it up when I got back).”
No one else but Florio was invited. Randolph said the talk could be held later that week over lunch or dinner.
“For now Commissioner Peevey would like to keep this meeting to just the three of us,” Randolph told Florio. “I am happy to come by and explain the topic in person (or on the phone). Can we make something work for Thursday?”
Florio chose the lunch option. “Yes, I have only a 2:30 meeting that afternoon,” he answered that Sunday night. “Lunch would be fine. THANKS and welcome back!”
Florio said there was no particular reason the lunch was limited to the three parties, or why the subject matter could only be discussed by phone or in person.
“There is no hidden conspiracy in all this,” Florio said. “I realize that some people suspect otherwise, but if there was (and I don’t think there was) I certainly was not part of it.”
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