PG&E Lawyers Plead Not Guilty To All Charges In Shasta County Court

PG&E had a court appearance in Shasta County Thursday for the criminal case against them stemming from the Zogg Fire. The nation’s largest utility was arraigned on 31 criminal counts and enhancements, including four counts of involuntary manslaughter. Lawayers for the utility entered not guilty pleas to all charges. Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett filed the charges last September. Cal-Fire and PG&E had both already acknowledged the fire in 2020 was caused by PG&E electrical lines that were brought down by a Gray Pine tree that was marked for removal, but was not removed in time. Just after the charges were filed, PG&E disputed that that particular Gray Pine north of Igo had been identified as a hazard. The Zogg Fire burned more than 56,000 acres, destroyed more than 200 buildings and killed four residents as they tried to escape the flames. PG&E was already on probation for the San Bruno natural gas explosion and the Camp Fire in Paradise. Last month a Shasta County Superior Court Judge denied PG&E a demurrer that sought to strike charges of negligent emissions of air pollution. A preliminary hearing date is set for January 18th of next year.