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California's largest public utility provider could face murder or manslaughter charges if it were found responsible for causing the state's recent deadly wildfires, according to court documents filed by the state attorney general.
Pacific Gas & Electric Co., or PG&E, could potentially face a range of criminal offenses if any of the wildfires broke out as a result of the utility failing to properly operate and maintain power lines, per an amicus brief filed in US District Court Friday by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
PG - E - Electricity - Californians - Scrutiny
PG&E, which provides electricity to about 16 million Californians, has been under scrutiny for how it maintains its infrastructure amid questions about what caused the Camp Fire -- the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state's history.
According to the brief, potential charges range from minor misdemeanors related to clearing vegetation around power lines up to "homicide offenses like implied-malice murder and involuntary manslaughter."
Attorney - General - Office - Conclusion - PG
The attorney general's office has not come to a conclusion about PG&E's responsibility for the recent fires and is not taking a position on the issue, the brief states.
The brief was filed in response to a request by US District Court Judge William Alsup that officials explain what crimes PG&E might potentially have committed if it were ultimately found responsible for the wildfires.
Response - Becerra - Court - Filing - PG
In response to Becerra's court filing, PG&E said it is determined to doing everything it can to reduce wildfire risks.
"PG&E's most important responsibility is public and workforce safety. Our focus continues to be on assessing our infrastructure to further enhance safety and helping our customers continue to recover and rebuild," it said in a statement.
Month - Alsup - Company - Role - Wildfires
Last month Alsup ordered the company to explain any potential role it could have played in causing wildfires, including the Camp Fire, which broke out on November 8 and claimed at least 85 lives.
In the blaze's aftermath, PG&E...
(Excerpt) Read more at: KTLA
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