City Council President Shawn Wooden wants an audit performed on the policies, procedures and assignments surrounding the usage of city vehicles, following news that Mayor Pedro Segarra’s former chief of staff was in possession of a city-issued vehicle two weeks after he left his city post.
Wooden has requested that the Hartford Internal Audit Commission complete the review by Sept. 30.
“It is crucial that the city council have a much better understanding of how city vehicles are utilized,” Wooden wrote in a letter to the commission dated Thursday. “In addition to evaluating the system for assigning and securing vehicles, please include an accounting of all city vehicles by department and individual, and whether these vehicles are driven only during work hours or taken home at the end of the day.”
Former Chief of Staff Jared Kupiec is under investigation by the Hartford Police Department’s internal affairs division for using a city vehicle after he left his job.
Kupiec’s possession of the vehicle came to the attention of Hartford police Monday morning as they investigated several car break-ins along Capitol Avenue near Main Street. Kupiec lives at 17 Capitol Ave.
An officer noticed the break-ins and determined that one of the cars broken into was registered to the city, Lt. Brian Foley, head of the department’s major crimes division, has said.
The mayor’s office said Kupiec was using the city vehicle “after the conclusion of his employment with the city of Hartford without authorization.” Kupiec, whose last day was June 21, received 2½ weeks’ severance pay. His salary was $115,000 a year.
“I believe it is critically important to understand how this happened and how to make sure that operational procedures are in place to make sure that this does not happen in the future,” Wooden wrote in his letter, referring to the Kupiec incident.
You can view Wooden’s letter to the audit commission here: WoodenAuditRequest
The commission is expected to take up the matter at its next regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday.