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Opinion Northwest

Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.

June 25, 2014 at 6:35 AM

Seattle City Light’s PR campaign is working

Seattle utility customers are paying for contracts with public-relations consultants to enhance the image of Seattle City Light’s management capacities. The campaign is working. No one is talking about utility director Jorge Carrasco’s $120,000 pay raise anymore.

Embarrased by an alleged scam, City Light quickly acts to change the topic and upgrade equipment. (Seattle Historical Society)

Embarrased by an alleged scam, City Light quickly acts to change the topic and upgrade equipment.
(Seattle Historical Society)

Nope, now the buzz is about City Light getting hustled by suspected scammers for $100,000 worth of copper wire. The story goes that the chief executive was conned into donating the wire based on a story he heard waiting in line for coffee. This double-tall tale with room for baloney is quite amazing.

One might think the story would generate all sorts of skepticism — you know, mega-whats? of doubt — but the orders from on high apparently discouraged anyone from acting on alarms triggered by internal B.S. detectors.

The Seattle Police Department and prosecutors are sorting out the details. The value of the wire would cover most of the first year of Carrasco’s pay raise.

For now, we can wait and see what the flaks manage to spin out of the copper wire. For starters, you know they are hunting for an award for recycling.

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