CPS Energy: Chief legal officer among several executives leaving the company

Carolyn Shellman had worked for utility since 2006

Carolyn Shellman, chief legal officer and general counsel of CPS Energy. (Copyright 2021 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

SAN ANTONIOUPDATE: 6/3/21: CPS Energy confirms two more executives from their legal team have resigned.

Zandra Pulis, chief records management officer and deputy general counsel, and Abigail Ottmers, deputy general counsel, are two of five CPS senior officials who have either resigned or put in their retirement in the past two weeks.

(Original Story)

CPS Energy’s chief legal officer is among several executives of the utility who have decided to leave the company, officials confirmed Wednesday night.

Carolyn Shellman had worked for CPS since 2006, most recently as chief legal officer and general counsel.

Officials did not provide Shellman’s separation date. However, they confirmed she is one of multiple executives departing from the embattled utility.

Lisa Lewis, CPS Energy’s chief administrative officer, released the following statement Wednesday night:

“CPS Energy has served Greater San Antonio diligently for 161 years. Our organization was built, in part, on a foundation of resiliency, sustainability and strong resources—in both technology and people. Over our history, we have employed thousands of people, and today we have a strong, talented team of 3,000 employees who function effectively in our complex and ever-changing environment. Recently, several executives, including our Chief Legal Officer (CLO), have decided to leave the company. We are grateful for their many contributions over their tenure and wish them the very best. We are fortunate to have a solid team of other executives and attorneys whose strong skills and abilities will help us through our transition. As organizational decisions are made, that information will be announced publicly.”

Confirmation of Shellman’s exit comes two weeks after officials announced that Gary Gold would step down as chief financial officer but remain with the utility through the end of June.

Gold’s retirement came as the utility continues to fight to reduce more than $1 billion dollars in bills from February’s winter storm.

When asked what other executives who were leaving the company, a CPS spokeswoman on Wednesday pointed out that Chief Operating Officer Cris Eugster left in March after accepting a president and CEO position with another power company.

Since February’s storm, attorneys representing the utility have filed close to 20 lawsuits against many of its natural gas suppliers, accusing them of price gouging.

Records show CPS Energy was charged, at times during the storm, up to 15,000% the normal rate for fuel as it attempted to continue heating homes and powering its plants.

Legal experts have told KSAT the lawsuits are unlikely to go in CPS Energy’s favor.

Utility officials have repeatedly said they are pursuing the suits in order to keep from passing on the hundreds of millions of dollars in bills to its customers.

About the Author:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.