Final paycheck for Paula Gold-Williams topped $1 million, CPS Energy records show

Former CPS Energy president & CEO announced resignation in October, departed utility earlier this year

Former CPS Energy President and CEO Paula Gold Williams speaks in front of the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce last year. (Joshua Saunders, KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – Former CPS Energy President & CEO Paula Gold-Williams received over $1 million in her final paycheck, financial records released by the utility to the KSAT 12 Defenders confirm.

Gold-Williams, who announced her resignation in October before formally departing from the utility earlier this year, received a total of $1,035,054.60, records show.

MORE: Is San Antonio’s infrastructure ready for another winter storm? Breakdown with #StephAndSteve

A majority of that money, more than $751,000, came in the form of a “restoration payment.” An attorney representing the utility described the payment late Tuesday as a distribution of benefits from a non-qualified retirement plan that is taxable when earned.

Gold-Williams also walked away with more than $272,000 in accrued vacation pay, with a vast majority of those funds coming from more than a thousand hours of vacation time she had accumulated over the past 18 years and did not use. Gold-Williams was also paid out for 125 hours of vacation time not used this year records show.

A CPS Energy spokeswoman previously said Gold-Williams was eligible for the same benefits as all utility retirees, including a pension and the option to participate in CPS Energy’s health plan as a retiree.

CPS Energy officials, however, declined to provide her pension amount, claiming that state law makes that information confidential.

Gold-Williams, who made a base salary of just under $486,000, struggled to lead the utility through flaws exposed by last February’s winter storm. She faced multiple internal complaints and the utility plummeted in public opinion polls.

Her departure was part of a mass exodus of staff from the utility’s senior leadership team, including its senior legal team and Chief Operating Officer Fred Bonewell, who resigned days after the Defenders exposed past ethics and spending complaints against him.

CPS Energy’s board of trustees late last year named Rudy Garza as interim president & CEO.

The board, to date, has not named a permanent replacement for Gold-Williams.

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About the Author:

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined the KSAT 12 Defenders in 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.