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California Attorney General: PG&E Could Face Murder Charges for Role in Deadly Camp Fire
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=49852"><span class="small">CBS San Francisco</span></a>   
Monday, 31 December 2018 09:37

Excerpt: "PG&E could face criminal charges as serious as manslaughter or murder in the wake of the deadly Camp Fire."

Chris and Nancy Brown embrace Monday while looking over the remains of their burned residence after the Camp Fire tore through the region in Paradise, Calif. (photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)
Chris and Nancy Brown embrace Monday while looking over the remains of their burned residence after the Camp Fire tore through the region in Paradise, Calif. (photo: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)


California Attorney General: PG&E Could Face Murder Charges for Role in Deadly Camp Fire

By CBS San Francisco

31 December 18

 

G&E could face criminal charges as serious as manslaughter or murder in the wake of the deadly Camp Fire.

The possible charges were described in a brief from the Office of the California Attorney General.

If a jury finds PG&E guilty of criminal negligence or recklessness, the utility could face criminal charges that include:

  • Failing to clear vegetation from a power line or pole;
  • Starting a wildfire;
  • Involuntary manslaughter, or
  • Implied-malice murder.

The last three are felonies. Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Fogg wrote:

“If PG&E caused any of the fires, the investigation would have to extend into PG&E’s operations, maintenance, and safety practices to determine whether criminal statutes were violated.”

“Talk is one thing, by outlining what some of these potential charges are. But if we want to get at the heart of justice over these fires that we’ve seen, we need to have some action taken, we need to have a proper investigation,” said State Senator Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo).

The severity of those charges, all the way up to murder, depends on the degree of malice or negligence. Retired Judge Ladoris Cordell says you can’t jail a corporation

“Even if it’s a murder conviction against a corporation, the corporation is not going to prison. Nobody is going to prison,” said Cordell.

PG&E already has 6 felony convictions from the San Bruno gas pipeline explosion. As a result, the company paid fines, performed community service and is currently on probation.

A new criminal conviction could mean a longer probation period.

“Customers want to see actual people held accountable,” said Mindy Spatt of The Utility Reform Network, or TURN, an advocate for ratepayers.

“There are actual individuals at PG&E who are making these decisions and in many cases, we’re talking about individuals who are receiving multi-million dollar pay packages on customers’ dime to do so,” said Spatt.

Senator Hill agrees.

“Until someone goes to prison for these actions, we’re not going to see the change in culture. We’re not going to see a change in behavior unless someone actually spends sometime behind bars,” he said.

Legal experts say even if the company is liable, it’s unlikely prosecutors would go after PG&E executives.

Nonetheless, a criminal case against the big utility could lead to a state takeover or even a breakup of the company.

“If it’s determined that PG&E, this defendant, did not behave according to the terms of the probation, yes, PG&E is big, big trouble.,” said Cordell.

The Camp Fire was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history. It claimed 86 lives.

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+8 # elizabethblock 2018-12-31 10:23
“Even if it’s a murder conviction against a corporation, the corporation is not going to prison. Nobody is going to prison.”

Yup. A sign at a demonstration: I'LL BELIEVE CORPORATIONS ARE PERSONS WHEN TEXAS EXECUTES ONE
 
 
+4 # Robbee 2018-12-31 12:24
California Attorney General: PG&E Could Face Murder Charges for Role in Deadly Camp Fire
By CBS San Francisco
31 December 18

- this is H U G E !

if PG&E could face criminal charges, PG&E should be liable in civil court for money damages to everyone who lost life, or property!

law firms will file lawsuits, in volume handles as class action?

the same way victims of sex abuse handle claims against a sports med doc, only much bigger than the half-billion in funds so-far pledged?

- really H U G E !
 
 
+6 # MFM 2018-12-31 13:45
Okay, you can't put the corporation in prison. How about confiscating it, however? Maybe it needs to be a true public utility. And how about putting its officials in jail? For too long, there's been no accountability for corporations. A fine for them is simply a business expense. And isn't it time to revoke the "personhood" or corporations? It's one of the more ridiculous concepts in this country.
 
 
+4 # lfeuille 2018-12-31 18:30
You can put the executives responsible for the policies that led to the fire in prison.
 
 
+6 # tedrey 2018-12-31 14:09
At last a few voices are timidly pointing out that until responsible individuals, as opposed to corporations, are subject to actual criminal penalties, jail time and heavy personal fines, there will be no end of these criminal tragedies.
 
 
+5 # AldoJay69 2018-12-31 14:37
“Until someone goes to prison for these actions, we’re not going to see the change in culture. We’re not going to see a change in behavior unless someone actually spends sometime behind bars,” he said.

If this was a real possiblity, half of Wall Street would be doing time...
 
 
+7 # DongiC 2018-12-31 14:53
Corporations are considered by the courts to be legal persons. They can sue and be sued and make political contributions of various sums.
Why can't they or their officers go to jail if laws are broken? If they commit felonies, they should pay like everyone else. Or are corporations more important than ordinary citizens. The Constitution protects all of us, not just the organizations of the rich and well born.
 
 
0 # tedrey 2019-01-01 12:05
The Constitution does NOT protect corporations, or even mention them. In the early republic states and the federal government began to license corporations for specific purposes under regulated conditions, and could disincorporate them for cause. Bought legislatures and asinine court decisions brought us where we are today. But never say that the Constitution requires that we can give corporations, or their decision makers, immunity from decisions which produce massive death and destruction as foreseeable consequences.
 
 
-3 # BKnowswhitt 2018-12-31 17:02
CA style politico is what is wrong with the Left .. every time there is some disaster they either implement un necessary and burdensome regulations .. or make heinously egregious false accusations and even evil ones to remedy how they think the WORLD should be .. and blame must be exacted for their pounds of flesh .. for what are actually acts of God and Nature ..