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People in Paradise react to PG&E's plea

PG&E's CEO William Johnson plead guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Posted: Jun 16, 2020 8:53 PM
Updated: Jun 16, 2020 8:54 PM

PARADISE, Calif. - PG&E's CEO William Johnson plead guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter.

"There's nothing I can say there's nothing the company can say that can change any of the things that happened this was a tragedy," said William Johnson, CEO for PG&E.

"I think it's about time that they are responsible for– for taking accountability," said Nancy Fillmore and Bobby Gerardi from the community.

The Camp Fire took 85 lives. Johnson stood in front of Butte County Superior Court Judge Michael Deems and repeated, "guilty your honor," of involuntary manslaughter for each of the 84 lives lost because of the company's criminal negligence. 

RELATED: The Camp Fire Public Report released by Butte County DA Mike Ramsey

"The lessons PG&E learned from the Camp Fire are being taken to heart and are driving comprehensive changes currently underway for PG&E," said Johnson.

Johnson said they're working hand in hand with Butte County to help communities recover and rebuild.

"I have no ill feelings at all towards PG&E, I think it's terrible that it happened but hopefully they learned to maintain their equipment," a resident said.

Johnson said the company improved its operation and inspection protocol, hardened its energy system, and is incorporating more advanced technology so that a tragedy like the Camp Fire does not happen again.

RELATED: PG&E pleads guilty to 84 deaths in 2018 Camp Fire

Action News Now asked people in Paradise if this plea gives them closure, Anit from Paradise said, "It does and I'm glad."

"There has to be closure to all of this so people can heal again and people can carry on their lives and go on and live a normal life or presumably normal life," said Loren Freeman from Paradise.

RELATED: Camp Fire presentation from Butte County DA Mike Ramsey

"We can't replace what the fire destroyed but we hope by pleading guilty accepting accountability by compensating the victims and supporting the rebuild and making significant lasting changes we can honor those who were lost and help this community recover," said Johnson.

Dozens of families whose loved ones were killed in the fire will present 'victim impact statements' in front of PG&E and the judge Wednesday morning.

To read Johnson's full statement, CLICK HERE. For District Attorney Mike Ramsey's news conference, CLICK HERE.

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