Wednesday, December 4, 2019
[Marin County] Letter to the editor: Marin Civil Grand Jury could look into PG&E
In response to Wesley Pratt’s letter in Readers’ Forum on Nov. 10, Marin Civil Grand Jury should investigate Pacific Gas and Electric Co. The grand jury serves as a watchdog over local government. By law, the grand jury can investigate the county itself, detention facilities within the county including San Quentin State Prison, cities and towns within the county, school districts (except for curriculum-related matters), fire districts, sanitary districts, water districts and other special districts, as well as joint powers authorities.
Basically, the grand jury can investigate any entity within the county that is funded by tax dollars and has an elected leader or board. The recommendations that grow out of an investigation are directed at the elected leaders or boards.
The grand jury cannot investigate an investor-owned utility like PG&E; the grand jury has absolutely no jurisdiction over PG&E. State agencies, like the California Public Utilities Commission, are also beyond the reach of the grand jury as are the courts.
While the grand jury does have subpoena power, most individuals come willing to share their knowledge and expertise.
Anyone can suggest a topic for the grand jury to investigate by going to the Marin County Civil Grand Jury page of the county’s website and clicking on “Form to Request an Investigation.” The best time to suggest an area for investigation is in July and August of each year when a new jury is beginning its work.
November 16, 2019
Marin Independent Journal
Letter from Pat Randolph, San Rafael