State Controller Betty Yee is asking top Southern California Edison executives for information about their pay increases over the last two years at a time the company was facing soaring costs of permanently closing its San Onofre nuclear power plant.
Yee said she wants the data from the Rosemead utility and its parent company, Edison International, because of the almost $5-billion cost to company shareholders and about 14 million ratepayers in much of Southern California.
"In light of these egregious penalties and economic harm" that ratepayers and shareholders will have to absorb, "I would expect top executives' compensation to be adjusted accordingly," Yee said. She made her comments in a letter to Theodore Craver Jr., Edison International's chairman.
The company's 2014 proxy statement to shareholders does not clearly spell out Edison's "justification for awarded executive compensation" during 2013 and 2014, Yee said.
Yee said she was acting as a board member of the state's two giant public pension funds — the California Public Employees' Retirement System and the California State Teachers' Retirement System. CalPERS and CalSTRS together own about 3.4 million Edison shares, she said.
Edison declined to comment on the Yee letter.
Reports filed with the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission show that dozens of Edison executives sold almost 200,000 shares of stock in late 2014 and early 2015 before and after Edison and some ratepayer groups reached a settlement for apportioning the costs of closing San Onofre.
Critics, including consumer advocates in San Diego and labor unions representing Edison workers, complain that the deal wrongfully saddled Edison customers with the bulk of the costs.
The California State Assn. of Electrical Workers has asked both Yee and an oversight committee of the state Assembly to look into the San Onofre deal.
A lobbyist for the electrical workers, Scott Wetch, contends that SEC filings show that eight high-ranking Edison executives sold $91 million in company stock during 2013 and 2014.