tv NBC Bay Area News at 11 NBC July 30, 2013 11:00pm-11:36pm PDT
we investigate $165,000 in free trips by the president of the california public utilities commission. >> he accepted free travel to some of the world's most exotic location. the problem is, he's president of one of the most powerful regulation agencies in the state. >> what he did is legal. but is it ethical? tonight, tony kovaleski digs
into michael peevey's travel records. >> by all indications, you're paying him to travel the world. we want to know, is he selling access to one of the most powerful positions in california? >> you have a job to do. it's pathetic, what you're doing. >> reporter: you might remember michael peevey. what's the message you sent coming here to napa than going to speak to the senate? >> you're very antagonistic. >> reporter: he wasn't very fond of us after we found him at a day-long trip at a napa resort and winery. tony covelekovaleski. you have a moment? and he wasn't happy to see his receiving an award, three years
after the san bruno explosion. will you answer my questions, sir? >> i find you extremely insulting. >> reporter: how will the president of the public utilities commission respond to the questions uncovered in these documents? records filed with the state show since 2007, michael peevey has accepted more than $165,000 in gifts and free travel. in fact, records obtained by the nbc bay area investigative unit, found in the last six years, president peevey has accepted 16 trips, each valued at more than $6,000. >> this time last week, i was in china. >> reporter: trips to hong kong and sweden. >> last week, i spent a week in germany. >> reporter: globetrotting to germany, spain and israel. >> i get the award i think in the last month. perhaps in the last year, for traveling the farthest. although the press is not up on all my travels.
>> reporter: president peevey may have spoken a bit too soon. we also know about his big-ticket trips. $12,500 for a 2010 excursion to sydney, australia. then there was this $13,000 all-expense-paid trip to new zealand. in 2009, $14,000 for another trip to spain. and in 2007, michael peevey accepted nearly $15,000 in travel to south africa. >> the question, is it ethical? there's a difference between the two. >> reporter: he's one of california's premiere experts in government ethics. we showed the travel records to bob sterns. >> it raises questions when you have extensive travel. i don't think private groups should be providing travel for public officials. >> reporter: that's right.
private groups and some nonprofits are picking up the tabs for the travel. some might call it a loophole. it's a state law allowing special interest groups, lobbyists and executives, access to power brokers. >> it's wherever a commissioner wants to go. anywhere in the world. all expenses paid. except for every step of the way, you're with a gaggle of lobbyists, lobbying you. you were offered trips like this? >> absolutely. >> reporter: what did you say? >> no. >> reporter: why? >> it's improper. it creates at least the appearance of impropriety. and i know what happens in those trips. during lynch's five years as president, her gifts and travel were about $6,000. peevey's $165,000 during six
years, averages out to $27,000 per year. >> that's exponentially more than what i took as the president. he's being wined and dined. >> reporter: out of the most expensive free trips, six were bankrolled by cfee that receives donation from the utilities that peevey regulates. the same group that sponsored this conference earlier in year in napa. you spent time with the utilities you're here to regulate. >> there's no utilities here i know about. >> reporter: they sent him to new zealand, italy, spain, china and south africa, in the past six years. total cost, nearly $64,000 from one nonprofit group. >> it's an invidious advantage that the companies who can pay have. and as a commissioner, you're
supposed to look only at the facts in front of you. and not at who you went golfing with or on safari with or who paid for your $300 dinner last night. >> the law needs to be changed. until the law is changed, public officials will be taking these trips. >> reporter: mr. peevey has turned down our request for an interview to talk about these trips. surprised? >> knowing mike, i'm not surprised. if you take a government job, you are obliged to be transparent. and part of being transparent is to talk with the press. >> reporter: and that takes us back to that question. mr. peevey? mr. peevey? may i get your attention, sir? after denying the request for an interview, we tried to talk to michael peevey. after a recent meeting in san francisco.
we know all that travel added up to 119 business days away from his office in san francisco. that's an average of four weeks -- four days to travel each year. the public commission would not tell us if those are regular working days or vacation days. and finally, it's your utility bills that pay michael peevey $132,000 each year in salary. >> interesting report. thank you, tony. happening now, assessing the damage after a massive fire in southern california. check that out. flames shooting through the roof of an auto parts shop. flames so intense, that roof just gave in. crews quickly knocked down the fire. luckily, there were no injuries. also new at 11:00, the gas has stopped leaking in mountain view. but at this hour, repairs tonight. a bulge in the middle of charleston road. charleston remains shut down, between san antonio and
independence avenue. pg&e has stopped the leak. but several customers are out of gas tonight. morgan hill police employing a new crime fighting tactic, after an alleged thief walked into the p.d. nbc bay area george kiriyama with how facebook infamy played a role. >> morgan hill police have used their facebook page before. but this was the first time that followers turned so much pressure on a suspect, he turned himself in. 48 hours after detectives posted his picture on morgan hill police's facebook page, he surrendered. >> the first time that somebody has turned himself in, based off of a social media, facebook. >> reporter: he was wanted for burglary, larceny and fraudulent use of credit cards. detectives used the power of social media.
and they're facebook responders followed. >> family members, probably encouraged him to turn himself in, based off of facebook comments. >> reporter: clara parker says she is one of his victims. she says he grabbed her iphone 5 and ran off with it. parker is happy social media pressure aided in his arrest. >> i'm for it. whatever can help us, you know, track him down. >> reporter: morgan hill police say worsham stole credit cards from a home in july. investigators say he used them at this target store later. detectives said he stole another iphone 5 from this verizon wireless store. >> i have no pity for him whatsoever.
>> reporter: police say this gives them more encouragement to post on facebook in the future. the riot that followed the u.s. open of surfing. lots of tips after sharing a photograph with one of the riders. the crowd fought in the streets. one of the men arrested, a member of the fullerton fire department. tonight, he's on leave and facing charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. six other men were arrested sunday night. the results for santa clara county's special elections tonight. former san jose city councilwoman cindy chavez will replace george saracoa jr.
he resigned, you might resign in march. and pleaded guilty to felony charges, including perjury. he's scheduled to be sentenced this friday. in touching. no delighting. no late hours. nose are the restrictions for a new bikini bar, slated to open five blocks from san jose city hall. neighbors are a bit divided about the club, even though it's expected to add 100 jobs. the city's rules committee will meet next week. strange weather. hazy skies across the bay area this evening. especially in the south bay and peninsula. jeff raineri is tracking the conditions. he'll tell us if tomorrow will be any better. jeff joins us just ahead. tragedy for goodwill. seems like a big bummer. going to take them a while to recoup. it is. two warehouses worth of donations trashed because of
grant's death. he maintains he meant to fire his taser but accidentally fired his gun. a jury convicted mehserle of involuntary manslaughter. and he spent 11 months in prison. a long night at oakland city hall tonight, with locals waiting hours to talk about hammers, wrenches and slingshots. so-called tools of violence and vandalism used in recent protests. one councilman wants them banned. the idea, not popular with demonstrators say not wielding a hammer violates their free speech. terry mcsweeney is live. >> reporter: it looks like the oakland city council is going to be saving the most contentious issue until last. it might not be 1:00 tomorrow morning until they get around to it. this is something the councilman
was concerned about. take away the weapons that some protesters use during disturban disturbances. he wants to ban metal sheets that are two feet or wider. any tools of violence and vandalism. keep in mind, this is the first reading of this proposal. there will be another one september 17th. tonight, at the one, people will be protesting that concerns takes away their rights, like this woman i spoke to tonight. to increase the chances they'll be facing charges for something like a pencil or a pen. or for women that have to carry pepper spray. is that considered a weapon? i need to get home safely. >> another hot item that the city council will be getting around to in a while, has to do with accepting a $2 million
homeland security grant for more surveillance cameras. not only for the port of oakland but for parts of the city of oakland, including nearby the airport. the fire department and services endorse the idea. some don't like the idea of being watched. they have the concept of big brother watching them. they don't like it. the cameras do have the capacity to read license plates. that's something else that's controversial. and again, this is going to be just accepting a $2 million grant from homeland security to provide additional cameras, security cameras, surveillance cameras here in oakland. >> thank you. police need help searching for a stolen van. this van delivers meals to citizen seniors in the east bay. the white ford van belongs to the meals on wheels program. it was parked on fruitvale
street. without the van, a manager says most seniors will not receive their daily meals. someone made an extra donation to the goodwill. bedbugs. the nonprofit is dealing with a bedbug scare at its warehouses in san francisco and burlingame. jean elle joins us from the peninsula where the little bugs are causing a huge problem. jean? >> reporter: raj, the goodwill says warehouse workers found the bugs here in burlingame and in san francisco. a bug-sniffing dog will be here in burlingame tomorrow to determine the scope of the problem. but in the meantime, the goodwill is turning away donations, which means it's turning away revenue. goodwill, tells tony, they can't take his furniture donations. the warehouse is empty, while exterminators deal with bedbugs
inside. the goodwill, said workers spotted bedbugs in the warehouses friday. workers threw out much of what was stored inside. the goodwill is now renting space to store new donations that continue to come in. >> this is a really good thing. a lot of people, they can't afford new things. >> reporter: the bedbugs are costing the nonprofit thousands of dollars. dollars that goodwill uses to fund job training programs. programs that donors believe make a difference. >> there's a lot of people on the edge of employability. and san francisco's trying to work on that. >> reporter: the goodwill doesn't plan to reopen warehouses until experts say the pests are gone. >> what a tragedy for goodwill. seems like a big bummer. going to take them a while to recoup. >> reporter: goodwill is anxious to get back to business as
usual. tonight, the goodwill says it's hoping to have both warehouses back open by the end of the week. after 35 years, the malibu grand prix is closing its doors. if you've been on 101 in redwood city, you've probably seen the landma landmarks. the general manager says with reduced rent, it is not making money. it will entertain its last customers on august 18th. that's so sad. >> it's been there for 30 years. we go august 16th, 17th and 18th. >> a three-day pass. >> why not? we can do live weather. and live anchoring. let's get a look at our wednesday forecast. we're looking at fogged in conditions by the coastline. cloud cover inland. it's going to be a patchy cloud
situation. by the noon hour, sun in here. and by 4:00 p.m. tomorrow, not a hot summer day. low 80s inland. and by the bay, just 70s. on this tuesday evening, the haze and the increasing dew points of that onshore flow. low cloud cover across san jose. also, our moderate air quality. and in san francisco, it's thick fog that will produce airport delays for tomorrow. also, areas of drizzle. let's get into the fog forecast for tomorrow. the worst of it in marin, sonoma and napa counties. at the coast, if you're headed there, it's par for the course. jacket weather from san francisco down to half moon bay. looks like santa cruz will get rays of sunshine. that will help to get you a little warmer. bodega bay in the 50s. 58 in santa cruz.
76 in palo alto. and 84 in evergreen. 77 in castro valley. 68 in alameda. san francisco with 66. then, up to sonoma, 72. down to oakland, 71. we have a stubborn area of low pressure sitting offshore. it doesn't have a lot of motion with it. for tomorrow we're forecasting yet again, more haze across the bay area the north bay down to the south bay. moderate air quality expected. if you suffer from respiratory problems or allergies, know that will be a concern over the next 48 hours. by friday, the air stirred up, sunnier and warmer. a lot of people have been coughing today with itchy, watery eyes. it looks better by friday. up next, there are plenty of apps, when you're on the go. but the 49ers have a new app that helps you when you have to
it's a major change in policy. >> a government health panel is recommending that heavy smokers get a c.t. scan to check for lung cancer. there had been little evidence to support annual testing because the usual screening seldom caught the cancer early enough. but a large-scale clinical trial showed that a c.t. scan, rather than a chest x-ray, could detect smaller tumors and reduce mortality on higher risk patients. lung cancer kills about 160,000 people a year. >> on a lighter note, there's a high-tech answer to take care of a low-tech problem. the 49ers new stadium will be equipped with a bathroom detector. a new app that will let fans know where the shortest lines are for the bathroom. it doesn't just handle the
good evening. i'm dave feldman in the comcast sportsnet newsroom. the trade deadline's tomorrow. but the oakland a's made a move today, requiring alberto callaspo from the angels. he's hitting .252 with 5 homers and 36 rbi this season. the blue jays and a's. snake eyes from g.i. joe throwing out the first pitch. that's athletic. jose bautista, homers to left. his 25th. 1-0, jays. top five. 2-0.
bonifacio homers to right. it's 3-0, jays. and mark buehrle will get chris young to pop out. bottom seven. buehrle gets derek norris swinging. he goes seven innings of five-hit ball. jays win, 5-0. giants in philadelphia. barry zito on the mound. that's trouble. he's not great on the road. two-run shot to left. 4-2, philadelphia. zito faces one more batter before being pulled. he lasts just 3 1/3 innings. moscoso making his first appearance with the giants. michael young with a two-run homer to left. and the giants lose 7-3. former closer, brian wilson, has agreed to a $1 million deal for one year to go to the l.a.
dodgers. wilson will begin a minor league rehab assignment. team teal has locked up joe pavelski to a five-year contract extension worth $35 million. it includes a limited no-trade clause. pawelski has put up 51 points in the last four seasons for the sharks. and a reminder. major league baseball trade deadline is at 1:00 p.m. pacific time tomorrow. we'll see if the a's or giants have any last-minute moves.
it's a bubble wrap bike, created by this guy down in southern california. you see pedaling and popping away. this contraption is his second bubble wrap bike. since this weekend, the bubble wrap bike video has gone viral, with more than 500,000 views. >> i need one. >> it's a dream. >> i need one. >> thanks for joining us.