A PG&E troubleshooter spent nearly two hours in federal court Monday fielding questions about whether the utility could have turned off the electricity sooner to a power line now suspected of sparking the monstrous Dixie Fire two months ago.
The grilling came before a federal judge who is overseeing PG&E’s criminal probation.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup has repeatedly hammered PG&E for creating dangers with its fraying equipment and igniting some of the deadliest wildfires in California.
The judge is now weighing whether he can impose more stringent conditions on PG&E before his authority expires when the company’s five-year probation ends in late January. PG&E “is a convicted felon that poses a safety hazard to California,” Alsup told the utility’s lawyers near the end of Monday’s hearing. “My job is to rehabilitate you and that is what I am going to do until the last minute.”