Illustration by Adriana Heldiz

Cody Hooven, one of the top leaders at the region’s fledgling public power company, has left San Diego Community Power. Her departure as the agency’s chief operating officer was not publicly announced, but confirmed by Voice of San Diego Tuesday. 

Eddie Price, chair of the agency’s Community Advisory Committee, said he learned recently that Hooven is no longer with the agency, but couldn’t share more details about her departure. 

“There wouldn’t be a CCA if it wasn’t for Cody Hooven. She’s the one that got five cities to come together. It’s hard to get five council people to come together in the same city,” Price said. “She always fought for us to have a voice, that’s for sure.”

Hooven transitioned from her position at the helm of the City of San Diego’s Sustainability Department to build San Diego Community Power from scratch. It’s one of dozens of public agencies created statewide with the mission of producing cleaner, less expensive electricity than investor-owned utilities like San Diego Gas and Electric.  

Hooven was the San Diego Community Power Board’s first choice to take over as CEO in 2020, but a state ethics watchdog ruled her ineligible because she helped set up the organization’s bylaws. Instead, after a second search, the board offered the position to Karin Burns, a former vice president of corporate development at a Bay Area-based company called Franklin Energy.

It’s still unclear why Hooven has departed. Mayor Todd Gloria selected her as one of ten women of distinction in March for her efforts in San Diego’s climate policy and sustainability space, including her hand in the creation of the city’s Climate Action Plan. And Hooven attended a June 11 strategic planning meeting held by the San Diego Community Advisory Board to chart a vision for the agency’s future. 

Board chair Joe Mosca, an Encinitas city councilman, did not return a request for comment Tuesday nor did Burns. Hooven declined to comment. Ryan Baron, general counsel to San Diego Community Power, said the agency cannot comment on confidential personnel matters. 

The agency is just beginning to roll out service to more than 765,000 accounts. Residents in Chula Vista, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, La Mesa, San Diego, and soon unincorporated San Diego County and National City will be served by San Diego Community Power. 

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  1. The Red Flags are being raised left and right. Changing savings on power plans, now at best it looks like break even, maybe. . . Management bailing out.

    I’m glad I opted out of what looks like is going to be a train wreck.

    1. “Management bailing out”? One person leaves an organization and now the sky is falling? Maybe she had to take care of a sick family member. Maybe she got an offer for a better paying job. Who knows? Not you.

    2. Let’s not confuse the CCA as “public power” as it’s still tethered to SDG&E control over what should rightfully be public power infrastructure. It may be a choice and will deliver a cleaner mix of energy for San Diegans, but our city leaders decidedly slammed the door on an option for a public utility serving the interests of ratepayers and not shareholders when they gave SDG&E a sweetheart 20 year deal. Now the Sempra-owned corporate utility is all too happy to effectively gouge ratepayers while rewarding their top executives. As usual, follow the money.

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