FPPC Opens Investigation Into Governor’s Top Aide For Failure To Disclose Timing of Stock Sales In PG&E

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Santa Monica, CA — Following an ethics complaint filed by Consumer Watchdog against the Governor’s top aide, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has opened an investigation into Nancy McFadden’s failure to report the dates and times of stock sales in PG&E, her former employer, while having inside information into the government’s investigation of PG&E over the San Bruno explosion that would have affected its stock value.

The FPCC said there was insufficient evidence to pursue an investigation into whether McFadden violated other conflict of interest laws.

“We’re glad an investigation is open as to why Ms. McFadden has failed to document her stock sales and whether she used insider information to enrich herself,” Liza Tucker with Consumer Watchdog said.  “In the course of that investigation, we plan to supply more evidence to broaden and bolster the case for a full investigation into the use of her public office to help PG&E and her own financial interests.”

Read the complaint at:

McFadden failed to accurately account for her trades in PG&E stock as required by state law, concealing the dates of her stock trades and their amount, which could reveal insider trading.  

She reported in her February 2011 conflict of interest disclosure forms that she held up to $1,000,000 in PG&E stock.  She reported on April 2, 2012 that by the end of 2011 she had only up to $100,000 in stock, and she failed, despite the form’s requirement, to disclose when she sold the stocks and their worth.  Her form covering 2012, filed on March 26, 2013, shows she still held up to $100,000 in PG&E stock that year. She then belatedly disclosed in her forms for 2013, filed on March 25, 2014, that she sold the PG&E stock in 2012, failing to give a date or amount for the sale.

The inaccuracies and omissions prevent the public from knowing when she made her sales, which is critical given that she had inside information about the investigation into the deadly San Bruno explosion, which had a material impact on a volatile stock.  

The complaint also provided evidence that McFadden was key in appointing a utility-friendly commissioner to the PUC, an appointment that boosted the value of her stock.

Emails produced by the Public Utilities Commission through Public Records Act requests show former PG&E lobbyist Brian Cherry and former PUC director Michael Peevey calling McFadden the utility's "back door route" on PUC appointments and the go-to person in the Governor's office. McFadden had been PG&E’s Sr. VP for Governmental Affairs and left the company with $1 million in severance pay in addition to the stock.


Jamie Court
Jamie Court
Consumer Watchdog's President and Chairman of the Board is an award-winning and nationally recognized consumer advocate. The author of three books, he has led dozens of campaigns to reform insurance companies, financial institutions, energy companies, political accountability and health care companies.

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