SACRAMENTO – Seeking to rework the priorities in PG & Es's bankruptcy case, California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday requested representation of fire victims, new employees and customers in the case.
In a letter to the federal manager who monitors the bankruptcy, a Newsom administration lawyer urged that "these constituencies have a strong voice from the beginning" through the creation of one or more committees of unsecured creditors.
"These individual victims should not be left to defend themselves in a creditor's class exhibited by sophisticated and plunged financial institutions and insurance companies," wrote Nancy A. Mitchell, a New York partner with O & # 39; Melveny law firm.
A creditor committee could participate in negotiating a restructuring plan for PG & E Corp., which, along with its subsidiary Pacific Gas & Electric Co. filed for bankruptcy protection early Tuesday. The company faces billions of dollars in potential liability from two consecutive seasons of fatal accidents.
Mitchell noted in his letter that customers did not have a vote in Pacific Gas & Electric's bankruptcy in 2001
Newsom said in a statement that he was looking for state interests.
"These groups I do not have the resources of many of PG & Es Wall Street creditors, but they will be directly affected by the bankruptcy results and deserve to have significant representation in the bankruptcy law," he said.
Among those who asked Newsom to send the letter was Up From the Ash, a coalition advocating fire victims.
Patrick McCallum, a lobbyist leading the group, said he wants the bankruptcy law to create a Separate Fire Victim Committee and a dedicated fund to join it McCallum lost his own Santa Rosa home in Tubbs Fire, which state scientists recently said was not caused by PG & E.