Seattle City Light CEO Jorge Carrasco offered public apology Thursday for recent controversies that caused him to lose a $60,000 pay raise.
During a hastily called news conference at City Light’s downtown headquarters, Carrasco said he takes “full responsibility” for a copper theft scam and a contract with the online reputation management firm Brand.com.
“I am committed to making sure these things do not happen again, and we’ve put controls in place to make sure that that’s the case,” Carrasco said.
“The thing that I’m most regretful of is that it’s taken attention away from all the work that our people are doing every day to serve our customers, and that’s a big disappointment on my part,” he said.
Carrasco also said he made a mistake in a radio interview last week when he claimed not to have sought a pay raise from Mayor Ed Murray.
“I will be the first to admit that I handled the issue poorly and my answer was wrong,” Carrasco said.
A majority of the Seattle City Council recently approved a pay raise of up to $119,000 for Carrasco, arguing he was underpaid compared with other public utilities.
Murray had been set to raise Carrasco’s salary by $60,000 but canceled the raise Wednesday, citing “judgment” issues related to the recent controversies involving the City Light CEO.
Carrasco said he respected the mayor’s decision and said he still wants to remain as head of City Light.
He asked the public and media to judge him on his overall record as City Light chief, citing progress in restoring financial stability, improving customer service and environmental responsibility.