Butte County District Attorney still considering charges against PG&E for Camp Fire


PARADISE (KRON) — “It’s a rather massive undertaking quite frankly,” said Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey.

Ramsey confirmed Friday his office is still investigating PG&E, weighing whether to charge the utility with reckless arson and manslaughter. 

“With various enhancements for burning so many homes and so many great bodily injuries. The other would be individual counts for the 80-plus lives lost, so you’re not just looking at two counts, but mid-80 number of counts,” the prosecutor said.

The investigation continues more than a year after California’s most deadly and destructive wildfire.

State fire officials found PG&E was to blame, while state regulators cited the company for numerous violations in how it handled its equipment. 

The Camp Fire pummeled the town of paradise and the liability launched PG&E into bankruptcy. 

“What we have to show is that PG&E acted recklessly with gross negligence in their actions that caused their equipment to fail and cause the Camp Fire,” Ramsey said. 

With threats of a possible state takeover looming over PG&E, the district attorney says that won’t really change what happens in a possible criminal proceeding.

“Criminally corporations are treated like persons. If there was no longer any PG&E it would be like the defendant had died,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey says there is a timetable set for the conclusion of this investigation, but he wouldn’t say when.

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