A briefing on an upcoming Senate budget subcommittee hearing was underway Friday when a smart phone belonging to PUC Energy Division Director Edward Randolph interrupted with an announcement that the recording space on his device was full, several sources told The Bee. The discovery surprised -- and angered -- many of the more than a dozen attendees of the off-the-record, private meeting, which was quickly called to an end.
Randolph initially denied that he was trying to covertly record the meeting, but later apologized to some attendees. The meeting included members of the Senate subcommittee staff, the office of Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, the Department of Finance and the PUC's Division of Ratepayer Advocates, an office that has clashed with PUC leadership.
Now, officials are reviewing whether Randolph's actions broke California law, which requires consent of all parties involved to tape private conversations. Steinberg spokesman Rhys Williams said the senator's office is aware of the issue and is looking into "whether any rules or laws have been broken and any appropriate recourse based on that."