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Mayor's Office Challenges Pay Increase Story

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Mayor's Office Challenges Pay Increase Story
Mayor's Office Challenges Pay Increase Story

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Rahm Emanuel caught some heat Friday for what appeared to be hypocrisy in his budget.

Despite asking the city to tighten its belt and pony up more fees to help close a gaping budget gap, his office planned to make good on a number of exorbitant raises for his top officials.

But pay raises remain, the Chicago Sun-Times points out. Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff is up for a nine perfect raise from $185,652 a year to $202,728.

Other raises include a nearly 10 percent bump for Police Supt. Garry McCarthy’s chief of staff to $185,004, a nearly eight percent raise for Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein to $169,500 and a nine percent hike for the Fire Prevention Bureau's newly-appointed deputy commissioner to $178,740.

Communications Director Chris Mather told the Sun-Times that most of the raises are actually the amounts they were hired at.

Klein, for example, started May 16 at a higher salary rate that his predecessor. The salaries listed in the budget reflect that, Mather said.

Emanuel's office pushed back hard on the story Friday evening.
 
They released a "Fact Check" for the original Sun Times story.

FACT CHECK: Sun-Times Despite woes, city budget finds cash for some top mayoral aides 

  • The accusation that Gabe Klein, Matt Hynes, David Reynolds, the budget director, chief financial officer and two deputy chiefs of staffs will receive raises as part of the 2012 budget proposal is completely inaccurate. 
  • Commissioner Hoff’s salary was determined prior to Mayor Emanuel taking office and has not changed since May 16. 
  • Mayor Emanuel’s 2012 Mayor’s Office budgeted payroll has been decreased by 19.4% as compared to the Mayor’s Office payroll in 2011, with a reduction of 17 positions – from 97 to 80.  
  •  Even with reduced salaries resulting from unpaid furlough days and holidays in the first half of 2011, the 2012 budgeted payroll will still be approximately 10% lower than 2011 budget levels.
  • Mayor Emanuel listed the salaries of every employee of the City of Chicago online within a month of taking office.
  •  Note:  The 97 positions in 2011 included 11 positions in other departments that were permanently detailed to the Mayor’s Office in the previous administration for a total of approximately $1 million in salaries for detailed employees.  In 2012 and going forward, positions like these are reflected in the actual Mayor’s Office budget.  (The 80 positions in 2012 do not include the 10 positions funded exclusively by Bloomberg Philanthropies to create a three-year Innovation Delivery Team.)

While the original story appeared to make clear that Klein and Hoff's raises were agreed to prior to Emanuel taking the Oath of Office, the Mayor seems to want to make clear that his predecessor made the decision to reward staff, not him.

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