One of the highest-ranking officials at the California agency that regulates private utilities says she is being forced out of her job after she sought to recover $200 million in fees owed to the agency. Alice Stebbins, who has been executive director of the California Public Utilities Commission since February 2018, was placed on administrative time off and believes her employer is preparing to fire her. Stebbins’ attorney sent a letter Tuesday to her bosses, the five commissioners who govern the agency, claiming she was being retaliated against for trying to “clean up a broken CPUC.” The letter says Commission President Marybel Batjer told Stebbins that she would be ousted because of ethical concerns about a handful of hires she allowed. But Stebbins told The Chronicle that she suspects the real real reason has something to do with about $200 million in outstanding fees that the agency has not collected. Stebbins said the fees were owed by a range of utilities, including water companies that the commission did not collect from for many years. She said some of the officials working under her identified the issue after reviewing a state report, that she promptly raised the matter to the governing… Read full this story
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