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County Controller Chelsa Wagner Addresses Pay Raise

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner hasn't returned calls so KDKA's Andy Sheehan approached her at a press conference.

Sheehan: "Why have you not responded to questions about your 35 percent pay increase?"

Wagner: "We're always happy to respond to factual inquiries."

She referred back to memos provided to Sheehan last week by her staff which state that the raise went into effect January 30th -- three days before her swearing in.

"When it was requested to council, I wasn't even in office," Wagner said.

Sheehan: "Why did you accept the pay increase? If you ran for office at $66,500, why did you accept a 35 percent increase?"

Wagner: "This was all provided to you in a memo with respect to all the different pay levels of all of the people throughout the county."

The memos detail that even at $89,000 a year, Wagner and Treasurer John Weinstein will make considerably less than the average department head salary of $114,000 a year.

"We don't like to find out what happens in the media when we should be the first to know," County Councilman Nick Futules said.

He said council was caught unaware of the pay increase and that while at first blush it appears to be legal, he believes it should have been reviewed by council.

"Lack of transparency – that's about all I can say about that," Futules said. "Maybe a lack of notifying the part-time officials."

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