BY Brandon Rittiman | Originally Posted on ABC10
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Three days after Gov. Gavin Newsom celebrated his 2018 election victory, one of his major corporate campaign donors caused a mass killing.
The Pacific Gas and Electric Company pleaded guilty in June 2020 to felony involuntary manslaughter for killing 84 Californians in the 2018 Camp Fire.
PG&E’s officials walked out of court to go back to work on turning a profit, aided by state policies Newsom crafted to help the company.
“Just the depth of it, it’s shocking,” said Steve Bradley, a retired Cal Fire dispatcher whose grandmother was killed by PG&E. “Even when they are held criminally responsible, nobody actually takes that responsibility. So what’s to stop them?”
Bradley’s grandmother Ethel Colleen Riggs was among PG&E’s 84 felony manslaughter victims.
In the months after the crime, Newsom not only signed new financial protections for PG&E into law, his office hired private lawyers in New York who wrote the legislative language.
Confidential emails and documents obtained by ABC10 reveal the New York law offices of law firm O’Melvany and Myers drafted AB 1054 in the Spring of 2019, before it was introduced in the state legislature.