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County Council To Probe Controller, Treasurer Pay Raises

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- There is more fallout tonight over that 35 percent pay raise that two county officials gave themselves.

"I've been in this office as the treasurer for almost 13 years," Treasurer John Weinstein said. "Not one time have I ever got a dime of additional increase."

He makes a point. With a salary frozen at $66,500 a year – he can argue he has been underpaid.

But the fact that that he and new Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner awarded themselves a 35 percent, $23,000 pay increase has ruffled some feathers, including some members of county council like Nick Futules who say there was no public review.

Andy Sheehan: "You would have concerns the way this was done?"

Futules: "Yes, I did have concerns [about] the way this was done obviously because we didn't know. Absolutely no information whatsoever to county council."

The two officials awarded themselves cost of living increases retroactively to 1999. The salary bump wasn't approved by either the county executive or county council.

A deputy controller merely signed a payroll authorization on December 30th and the raises went into effect.

Futules says he didn't even know about the raises until we reported them earlier this week.

Andy Sheehan: "So you're investigating now, Nick?"

Futules: "Yes, we are. We are under current investigation with our solicitor."

Weinstein says the process was above board, but councilmembers say it was never brought up during a review of the department budgets.

"In fact, what were told was that all of the county departments were paired to the bone. There was no excess money," said Heather Heidelbaugh, councilwoman at large.

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