Jared Kupiec, chief of staff to Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra, is planning to announce his resignation, according to two sources with first-hand knowledge of the situation.
The move comes after a series of political missteps, including one in which Kupiec used his city credit card to pay for a New Year’s Eve dinner for Segarra, the mayor’s spouse, and others. The dinner was at a high-end downtown restaurant and included champagne and caviar. Kupiec eventually repaid the city, but not until after the mayor had faced significant criticism.
Efforts to immediately reach city officials for comment were unsuccessful.
Kupiec has been the public face for an administration that has called for shared sacrifice while, at the same time, making questionable spending decisions. Among them, a raise for Kupiec and the mayor himself. Kupiec also made news for getting a city car – something his predecessors did not have, and which he still uses. His presence as a passenger in a recent downtown car accident also raised questions about whether he used his city hall influence to affect the police investigation.
Word is also that Juan Figueroa will be serving as a senior advisor to the mayor.
More to come.
11:20 a.m. update: Maribel La Luz, Segarra’s spokeswoman, has confirmed Kupiec’s resignation and Figueroa’s appointment. She says the decision was Kupiec’s.
11:30 a.m. update: Here’s the city’s press release.
MAYOR SEGARRA ANNOUNCES DEPARTURE OF
CHIEF OF STAFF JARED KUPIEC
— NEWS AND COMMUNITY STATEMENT—
(June 3, 2013) – Today, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra announced that he has accepted the resignation of Jared Kupiec, his Chief of Staff since December 2010.
Kupiec stated, “It has been a pleasure and honor to serve the Capital City. This was a dream come true for me and I will be forever grateful to Mayor Segarra for allowing me this special opportunity. I’ve always said that government service is a privilege and not a career.”
“Jared is a loyal and dedicated worker who always put Hartford first,” said Segarra. “But I truly respect his desire to tackle a new challenge. I sincerely thank him for all his work to my Administration and the critical projects that would not have come to fruition without him including the recruitment of UConn, implementing and refining our HartStat program, working with the Ripken, Sr. Foundation to build three large sports complexes to benefit Hartford’s youth and supporting the positive reform that has occurred within the Hartford Police Department.”
The Mayor also announced that he has asked Juan A. Figueroa to immediately join his administration as a Special Advisor and to oversee a transition to a new permanent Chief of Staff. Figueroa will assume the duties of Acting Chief of Staff upon Kupiec’s departure.
Figueroa, a former Hartford State Representative and the first Latino candidate for Governor in Connecticut brings over 30 years of government, management and legal service experience most recently as the former President of the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut.
“As I look ahead to leading the City of Hartford, this change will give me an opportunity to re-calibrate my administration and put a new team in place,” said Mayor Segarra.
Kupiec will continue as Chief of Staff for the next several weeks during the transition.
11:40 a.m. update: The city sends along this email Kupiec sent to city staff.
From: Kupiec, Jared W.
Sent: Monday, June 03, 2013 11:30 AM
To: Everyone (City Only)
Subject: A Fond Farewell
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
It is with a mixture of joy and sadness that I announce my resignation today. I will not be leaving immediately, however, as there is need to allow for a seamless transition and a full recalibration of the Mayor’s administration.
It has been an absolute pleasure to serve the City of Hartford. I have learned a tremendous amount working alongside all of you and am grateful for all the work we’ve accomplished together.
I have thought a lot about this decision and know that it is the best one for me at this time. My next step will be to prepare for a new career outside of politics and law school, which has been a life-long ambition that I have put off for far too long. I will always be loyal to our Capital City and am eager to continue championing its incredible potential. I look forward to seeing some of the projects I pushed forward grow and develop but there are new challenges and opportunities that I feel compelled to pursue.
I have to once again thank Mayor Segarra for giving me this special opportunity. It has been a tremendous journey to work for someone with real vision and passion.
Thank you all for your tireless dedication to the City of Hartford and I look forward to staying in touch.