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PG&E CREDITORS OK BANKRUPTCY PLAN Pacific Gas & Electric Co.’s latest plan to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy has been approved by 97 percent of creditors, the company announced Wednesday. In preliminary voting results presented at a bankruptcy court hearing, PG&E said that all seven classes of creditors had approved the company’s plan of reorganization. A minority of creditors in several of the classes gave the plan the thumbs down in voting that occurred in August and September. Under bankruptcy law, a plan need only garner the vote of a single creditor class to be confirmable. The reorganization plan is PG&E’s second proposal for restructuring its roughly $12 billion in debts. The plan is based on a settlement agreement between PG&E and the California Public Utilities Commission, which had previously each pushed their own competing reorganization plans. The CPUC must still approve the settlement that was reached by its staff and PG&E lawyers earlier this year. “This outcome is another positive indication that the proposed settlement agreement will resolve the Chapter 11 case in a manner that is fair to customers, employees and shareholders,” said a statement issued by PG&E. The company said it hopes to emerge from bankruptcy in the first quarter of 2004. — Alexei Oreskovic DA SEEKS FUNDS TO LOOK AT OLD CASES District Attorney Terence Hallinan plans to ask the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for $250,000 to launch a review of old cases handled by two former police investigators, Napoleon Hendrix and Earl Sanders. His decision was prompted, Hallinan told the Daily Journal, by cases brought to his attention after a federal judge ruled in August that Sanders, Hendrix and Assistant DA George Butterworth withheld evidence while prosecuting a 1989 murder. U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken vacated John Tennison’s first-degree murder conviction, concluding that the prosecution team of Sanders (recently retired from the police chief’s post), Hendrix and Butterworth had suppressed exculpatory and impeachment evidence. Soon after, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Kay Tsenin overturned the conviction of co-defendant Anton “Sodapop” Goff, with no opposition from the DA. Hallinan said in August that he hoped that case was isolated, but added, “I do think we’ll go back and take a look at anything else and see if there are other problematic cases.” The DA declined to say then if Butterworth would face any consequences for his handling of the trial. Since those comments, the Northern California Innocence Project, a law school clinical program, has asked Hallinan’s office to re-examine two other homicide convictions where it suspects police misconduct, said Susan Rutberg, director of the project’s satellite office at Golden Gate University School of Law. Howard Jackson, convicted of second-degree murder for a 1980 homicide, has served 23 years of a 16 years-to-life sentence. Ludrate Burton, convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole for a 1994 killing, has served about eight years. Sanders worked on both, with Hendrix on one and a different inspector on the other, Rutberg said. The DA’s annual budget is $30.7 million. — Pam Smith

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