Friday, December 31, 2021

As CPS Energy seeks rate hike, new report shows top execs spent big on steak dinners, chauffeurs

By Sanford Nowlin of The San Antonio Current.

CPS is regulated. When we regulate natural monopolies with either Average Total Cost price regulation or Marginal Cost price regulation, it creates an incentive for companies to pad their costs by spending on fringe benefits.

Excerpts from the article:

"CPS Energy's two former top executives used their company purchasing cards to pay for thousands in steak dinners, chauffeur services and other extravagances, according to an analysis of financial records by TV station KSAT.

The report on the officials' spending drew condemnation from Mayor Ron Nirenberg, who said the municipally owned utility's spending must be "reined in," according to KSAT. The story aired the same day as members of city council pushed back at a proposed CPS rate increase, saying the utility first needs to rebuild public trust." 

"Based on its review 4,300 pages of requested CPS financial records, KSAT reports that the utility's former chief operating officer, Fred Bonewell, racked up $53,444.53 in 2019 card purchases — higher than the median household income in San Antonio that same year.

Among the items charged to his card, according to the station: a $683 meal at Saltgrass Steak House, at least three meals running more than $600 each at Paesano's and 100 expensed meals at the same Northside brunch spot."

"former CEO Paula Gold-Williams used her card for $14,000 in luxury chauffeur fares"

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