By David Hollister
Plumas County District Attorney
Last spring, district attorneys from Plumas, Lassen, Tehama, Shasta and Butte counties were able to resolve the criminal case against PG&E. In reaching this settlement with PG&E of the criminal case we achieved the general objectives of punishment and deterrence for PG&E while working to restore our communities. Specifically, this settlement provided millions of dollars for expedited payments to those losing homes in the Fire (see attached graph), created a mechanism to protect our timber industry, is bringing meaningful jobs to our communities, provided for extensive safety improvements (see the undergrounding of PG&E lines in Plumas County), brought immediate financial relief to those local organizations crucial to our rebirth from the last Fire and prevention of the next(over $17 million dollars has already been distributed) – all under the supervision of a Monitor for the next five years.
In reaching this settlement with PG&E, Plumas County has been provided a level of restorative justice which could never be achieved in a traditional criminal prosecution.
I remain hopeful, in the coming months, we will see Plumas County, commercial timber, governmental entities and individuals resolve their civil claims with PG&E and see reimbursement for the damages caused from the Fire.
Those calling Plumas County home are a strong, resilient bunch. Given a chance, we will overcome the scar of the Dixie Fire. The innovative resolution to the criminal case continues to be an important step in giving us that chance and in healing Plumas County.