Jorge Carrasco—CEO of Seattle City Light and the man the Seattle City Council authorized for a $60,000 pay raise—fell for a scam that led to the heist of 20 tons of copper wire and scrap metal worth $120,000. The way the Seattle Times tells it, the scam was pulled off quite smoothly—and far too easily.
The incident took place on April 23, 2013 when two con men “chanced upon” Carrasco in the lobby of Seattle City Light’s offices. The men approached Carrasco claiming to be members of the Cherokee Nation who ran a non-profit organization that “taught disabled children to how to make jewelry.” For the purposes of their charity, the two con men requested a donation of copper wire. They assured Carrasco that his predecessor—Gary Zarker—donated to their organization in the past.
It took only a few minutes before Carrasco signed off on the release of copper wire and other scrap metal to the men. Carrasco does not appear to have verified the men’s claims or even the existence of their organization. He also failed to give a specified amount of copper wire to be donated. Reportedly, he directed the donation of “a small amount of scrap material.” In the end, the two con men made off with 20 tons of copper wire and more.
Earning a salary of $245,000 per year, Carrasco is the highest paid City of Seattle employee. Last week, the Seattle City Council authorized a raise of $60,000 retro-active to January 2014—boosting his total salary to $305,000 per year with as much as $50,000 of back month pay
Based on his job performance, do you believe the Seattle City Council should have hiked Carrasco’s pay by $60,000 per year?