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ISO Hires Lawyer

The operators of the state´s power grid are hiring an attorney to investigate a state senator´s accusation that they manipulated California´s energy market. The Independent System Operator says it did nothing improper. But the system´s board is hiring attorney Michael Strumwasser to make sure. Strumwasser spent 17 years with the state Department of Justice. Grid operators say they were reacting to a transmission line problem in November 2001 when they asked state energy traders to buy unnecessary power at above-market rates, which the state later had to sell at a loss. State Sen. Joe Dunn a Democrat from Santa Ana calls that a request for the state to schedule “fictitious” energy demands. Dunn chairs the Senate Select Committee to Investigate Price Manipulation of the Wholesale Energy Market.