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Seattle City Light CEO Apologizes For Mistakes, Admits He Did Ask For A Raise
Jorge Carrasco

The head of Seattle City Light wanted positive news stories and even hired a reputation-management firm to help achieve that. Instead, he’s been facing a flurry of negative news stories and on Thursday, CEO Jorge held a news conference to apologize for mistakes he’s made.

Carrasco sat contrite in front of a bank of microphones and told the assembled reporters that he takes responsibility for the mistakes. One of the things he apologized for was hiring to push up positive news stories about the utility in web search results.

“It’s been portrayed as if I were trying to burnish my image and that was not the intent and it’s unfortunate and that’s part of the reason why I think it was a mistake,” Carrasco said.

He also apologized for approving the donation of copper wire to two con artists, who then reportedly made off with 20 tons’ worth. Carrasco says City Light has toughened its procedures for authorizing donations. Finally, there was the issue of Carrasco’s pay and whether he lied about having asked for a raise. Last week, he told KIRO radio he had not. Now he admits he did ask Seattle Mayor Ed Murray for the pay hike.

“I should have been more open about it, and I regret that and I made a mistake and I’m admitting my mistake,”

Earlier this week, Murray rejected the pay increase. Carrasco already is the city’s highest paid employee with a salary of $245,000. The utility chief says he’s now focused on rebuilding public trust.  

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.