On my show Monday, I asked if Seattle City Light chief Jorge Carrasco lied to my colleague Jason Rantz Friday when Carrasco said he did not ask for his $120,000 pay raise.
Jason: “Did you ask for a raise?”
Jorge Carrasco: “No. I think the, the—no I didn’t. I did not ask for a raise.”
After some dogged reporting this weekend by our reporter Brandi Kruse, Mayor Ed Murray’s office refused to answer a very simple yes or no question: Did Carrasco ask for the raise? The reason we were asking? We wanted to know if Carrasco did not ask for the raise, as he claimed, why would the Mayor – who has made income inequality a centerpiece of his reign, just hand out a six-figure bump to the city’s highest paid employee?
I said in a blog post earlier Monday, that leads us to one of only two possible conclusions: One, Jorge Carrasco lied to Jason, our host, on Friday when he said, no he did not ask for a raise. And I’m not accusing him of this, I’m just saying it’s one of the possibilities.
The other one is that Carrasco was telling the truth and Ed Murray just hands out a $120,000 pay raise to the city’s highest paid employee with no reason to do so.
If Carrasco did not ask for a raise, then why, in a time when they are making income inequality a centerpiece of their policies in this city, why do they hand out a $120,000 raise that somebody never asked for? Have you ever gotten a raise without asking for it? It just doesn’t happen.
Well now we know the answer: Carrasco lied to Jason Rantz on Friday.
In a press release sent out Monday evening, the city offered this “clarification”:
Carrasco Expands on Answer Regarding Salary
Some media outlets have asked follow-up questions regarding Seattle City Light General Manger Jorge Carrasco’s answer in recent interviews regarding whether he asked for a salary increase.
Carrasco did encourage Mayor Murray to recommend a pay band increase to the Seattle City Council in line with a 2013 market study of his position. In so doing, he hoped it would result in a salary increase.
So now we know. I don’t blame Carrasco for wanting to get as much money as he possibly could from the city and our tax-and-rate-payers. But for some bizarre reason, he decided to lie about that on KIRO Radio on Friday. We have a real ethical problem here. This is another case where the cover-up is far greater than the original transgression. I will have MUCH more on this on Tuesday’s show.