Education

Paso superintendent could get a settlement of more than $200,000 in sudden exit

County schools superintendent begins Paso Robles board meeting with a Dr. Suess quote

SLO County Office of Education Superintendent James Brescia leads the Paso Robles Joint Unified School Board in its first meeting as new members are sworn after the former superintendent resigned.
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SLO County Office of Education Superintendent James Brescia leads the Paso Robles Joint Unified School Board in its first meeting as new members are sworn after the former superintendent resigned.

Paso Robles’ outgoing school superintendent may be eligible to receive more than $200,000 in settlement money after he leaves the district.

Superintendent Chris Williams resigned suddenly on Dec. 6 during a special meeting of the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees. Williams’ last day on campus will be Dec. 22.

In a Wednesday phone interview, Williams said he resigned in a mutual agreement with the school board because he felt it was time to move on.

He said he didn’t attend the Tuesday night school board meeting because he had a conflict in his schedule, and he asked Superintendent Jim Brescia of the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education to lead the meeting in his place.

When asked if he would receive a payout as a result of his resignation, Williams said the terms of his settlement were based on his contract.

Williams’ contract, approved by the board on Aug. 14, was effective from July 1 through June 30, 2022.

It lists his base salary as $214,833, although he also received a 5 percent bonus for having 10 years of comparable school administrator or management experience, according to a Tribune story from October. With the addition of the bonus, Williams was set to earn about $225,575 this year.

According to the contract, early termination of Williams’ agreement would make him eligible for a compensation settlement. He could receive a maximum cash settlement equal to his monthly salary multiplied by the number of months left on his contract.

If more than 12 months are left on Williams’ contract, the cash settlement would be capped at a year’s pay.

Williams was about five months into a 48-month agreement, so the maximum cash settlement he could receive would be equal to his annual salary.

Williams was hired by the Paso Robles district in 2014, coming from Central Unified School District in Fresno County, where he was the assistant superintendent of human resources.

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Lindsey Holden writes about housing, immigration and everything in between for The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. She also covers northern San Luis Obispo County city governments and school districts. Lindsey joined The Tribune in 2016 after working for the Rockford Register Star in Illinois. She’s a native Californian raised in the Midwest and is a proud graduate of two Chicago schools: DePaul University and Northwestern University.


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