Imperial County District Attorney Gilbert Otero has announced that his office will not file any criminal charges against ZGlobal Power Engineering and Energy Solutions.
The local DA had initiated an investigation into an Imperial Irrigation District contract with ZGlobal for assistance in the day to day operation of the IID's Energy Department. The contract , or Master Agreement , was initiated following a major overhaul of the Districts Energy Department. The overhaul was undertaken after the IID's Board of Directors and senior management lost confidence in the operation of the energy department after they were partially faulted for the 2011 blackout that swept through Southern California.
Otero said that the Master Agreement was a three-year consulting contract. ZGlobal disclosed to IID all of its pending projects that they would continue to work on outside of the Master Agreement. Six embedded ZGlobal employees were identified and they were instructed not to work on the identified pending projects. Otero said that while the plan was good , the execution of the plan was not. Both IID and ZGlobal failed in attempts to keep the dedicated employees from doing work that impacted ZGlobal's listed projects. Those failures led to allegations of potential criminal conduct in violation of Government Code ~ 1090. Otero added that in 2017 , the California Supreme Court held that Government Code ~ 1090 does not apply to consultants or independent contractors. The IID and ZGlobal terminated their contract after two years.
Otero said. " While Government Code ~ 1090 makes it a crime for certain individuals to enter into or advocate for governmental contracts in which they have a financial interest , I believe that the interest of justice support and mandate the decision not to pursue criminal charges." Otero added that the District Attorney's Office has ended their investigation.