Update Jan. 30: The San Diego Union-Tribune posted the search warrant and affidavit that allowed agents to seize property from the homes of former CPUC head Michael Peevey and former PG&E executive Brian Cherry in the judge-shopping case.
The warrant states that Special Agent Reye Diaz of the State Department of Investigation had probable cause that the property seized was used to commit a felony or shows that a felony has been committed.
The document also includes an inventory of seized items, which include computers, phones, notes, electronic storage devices and a day planner.
Michael Peevey, the recently departed head of the California Public Utilities Commission, is reportedly the target of an investigation involving allegations that PG&E sought preferential treatment from the utilities agency.
In a story published Wednesday night, the San Francisco Chronicle said that state investigators have searched Peevey's home in the Los Angeles County community of La Cañada Flintridge and seized computers, smartphones and a thumb drive.
Agents also visited the Orinda home of Brian Cherry, a PG&E vice president fired last year after emails surfaced that detailed the company's efforts to influence the CPUC's handling of a major rate-setting case, the Chronicle says. Computers and other items were seized after a search.
The Chronicle says the materials were seized under a search warrant that said investigators were looking for evidence of improper “ex parte communications, judge-shopping, bribery, obstruction of justice or due administration of laws, favors or preferential treatment” related to matters coming before the utilities commission from December 2009 on.
The emails at the center of the investigation include a series of messages focused on a proceeding in which the CPUC is considering future rates for PG&E’s gas transmission and storage services.
In a series of messages sent in January 2014, PG&E’s Cherry sought inside information from Carol Brown, Peevey’s chief of staff, about which commissioner and which of the CPUC’s administrative law judges would be assigned to oversee the case.
In his messages, Cherry expressed a preference for the appointment of Commissioner Mike Florio and Administrative Law Judge John Wong.
Cherry pointedly opposed the appointment of judges he said were unfriendly to the company. In several brief notes, Brown told Cherry that Wong would be unavailable for the case due to a heavy workload.
After the emails became public, Peevey announced he would not seek reappointment to head the commission. He left the agency last month.
State Attorney General Kamala Harris and the U.S. attorney's office opened separate investigations to determine whether any laws were broken.