Three Pacific Gas and Electric Co. executives and a top aide to the head of the California Public Utilities Commission were ousted Monday over “inappropriate” back-channel communications showing that the company lobbied regulators to appoint its preferred judge to a key rate-setting case stemming from the San Bruno explosion.

The president of the utilities commission, Michael Peevey, also agreed to step aside from voting on whether to uphold a proposed $1.4 billion penalty against the company for the deadly disaster.

Keep reading at San Francisco Chronicle.