The Latest: Judge cuts potential fine after pipeline blast

AP News
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Posted: Aug 02, 2016 8:36 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on federal prosecutors' request to cut nearly all of a potential $562 million fine against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. after a pipeline blast (all times local):

5:30 p.m.

A federal judge has cut nearly all of a potential $562 million fine against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in a criminal case alleging pipeline safety violations before a deadly explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area.

U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson issued the order late Tuesday, hours after the U.S. Attorney's Office requested it in a court filing. The judge did not explain his reasoning.

PG&E now faces a maximum fine of $6 million if convicted of 11 pipeline safety violations and obstructing investigators in the wake of the 2010 blast in the city of San Bruno.

The government did not provide an explanation in the filing its request to lower the potential penalty.

The move came after more than a month of testimony and four days into jury deliberations over whether PG&E is guilty of the charges filed after the blast that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes.

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2:15 p.m.

Federal prosecutors have asked a judge to cut nearly all of a potential $562 million fine against Pacific Gas & Electric Co. in a criminal case alleging pipeline safety violations before a deadly explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The U.S. Attorney's Office made the request Tuesday in a court filing.

Under the proposal, PG&E would face a maximum fine of $6 million if convicted of obstructing investigators in the wake of the 2010 blast in the city of San Bruno and 11 pipeline safety violations.

The government did not provide an explanation in the filing for its request to lower the penalty.

Abraham Simmons, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco, said the office would have no comment.