Judge set to sentence PG&E in criminal case tied to blast

FILE PHOTO - In this Sept. 9, 2010, file photo, a massive fire roars through a neighborhood in San Bruno, Calif. A federal jury found Pacific Gas & Electric Co., California's largest utility, guilty on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, of misleading investigators about how it was identifying high-risk pipelines after the deadly gas line explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Pacific Gas & Electric Co. says it is prepared to pay the maximum fine of $3 million after a jury convicted the company of deliberately violating pipeline safety regulations before a deadly natural gas pipeline explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area and then misleading investigators looking into the blast.

But California’s largest utility is asking a federal judge not to restructure its bonus program for employees or require an advertising campaign publicizing its conviction. U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson is scheduled to sentence PG&E on Monday, and prosecutors want him to impose the bonus and advertising requirements. They say a $3 million fine alone would be a “drop in the bucket” for PG&E.

The 2010 blast of a PG&E natural gas pipeline killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes in the city of San Bruno.



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