Friday, March 27, 2015

The not-so-happy ending to this program

Days before he stepped down as the state’s top utility regulator, Michael Peevey called an assistant dean at his alma mater, the University of California, Berkeley, to say that a recognition dinner was being held in his honor, and net proceeds would benefit the Goldman School of Public Policy. “Mike asks that you join the host committee,” assistant dean Annette Doornbos wrote to her boss, Dean Henry Brady, on Dec. 15. “He would like to know at your earliest convenience.”

The request appears on the first of 327 pages of emails to and from university officials related to the $250-a-plate tribute dinner that was held Feb. 12 at the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco. The records show the school struggled with how to react to a barrage of criticism from alumni and supporters, who urged Brady to reject the donations as a public-corruption investigation encircled the utilities commission in general and Peevey specifically.

The university’s emails were obtained by the San Diego advocacy group Citizens Oversight, which sued the school earlier this month after officials failed to release documents in response to several requests under the California Public Records Act. They show Brady and others defending their decision to honor Peevey, who not only graduated from the institution but was an important donor and longtime advisory board member...

[As blog readers will know, in the end the School had to turn down the money.]

Anyway, that's how it happened:

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