first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The result of all this would be a windfall for Girardi and other lawyers who would reap millions in legal fees. And because there appears no other logical reason for a lawsuit, it adds to the appearance that Lockyer’s actions are at least worthy of further scrutiny. On its face, this doesn’t pass the smell test, particularly the timing, since the trial is well under way and Lockyer has had years to act. At the least, Lockyer appears to be cavalier in his dealings in this matter despite his role as the state’s chief law enforcement officer and the public’s weariness with politicians doing favors for the people who contribute to their campaigns. What should happen is that outraged lawmakers call for hearings to examine Lockyer’s actions. But that’s unlikely since so few of them are in any position to question anyone else’s ethics. That leaves the matter to the judge in the case, Ronald Prager, to look into the issue to preserve the integrity of this trial. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer’s actions regarding an ongoing legal battle involving Sempra Energy raise serious questions about whether he’s looking after the public interest, private interests, or both. Lockyer, of course, claims his intent in meddling with the trial is benign – to help Californians get a better settlement in the antitrust trial stemming from the state’s energy crisis. Pay no attention to the fact that his political contributor and ally Tom Girardi, and other lawyers, could reap tens of millions of dollars from the effort – a handsome return on the more than $250,000 Girardi contributed to Lockyer’s campaign, not counting several personal gifts that were thrown in. Here’s how it all happened: Currently, there’s a class-action antitrust trial under way in a San Diego Superior Court claiming that executives at Sempra Energy engaged in a “massive conspiracy” to manipulate electricity supply in California, prompting the energy crisis of 2000-01. The state of California is not a plaintiff in the trial, but it is trying to get concessions through a parallel mediation case going on, which Girardi is managing. Because of this, a threat by Lockyer to file a lawsuit is inappropriate, and appears to be an attempt to pressure the jury into awarding an even higher settlement. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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