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Allegheny County Treasurer Defends 35 Percent Raise

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Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinstein accepted a 35 percent salary increase.  (Credit: KDKA)

Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinstein accepted a 35 percent salary increase. (Credit: KDKA)

Andy Sheehan Andy Sheehan
KDKA-TV Investigator Andy Sheehan began his broadcast journalism...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Taxpayers are not in a good mood and public officials assigning themselves a hefty raise rubs them the wrong way.

“That’s the powers that be,” Joe Wasielewski said. “That’s what they’re doing and we’re paying for it.”

But Allegheny County Treasurer John Weinstein says he hasn’t gotten a raise in more than a decade and even with the raise is making considerably less that other county department heads.

“I’ve been in this office as treasurer for almost 13 years,” Weinstein said. “Not one time have I ever got a dime of additional increase, but my responsibilities have increased tremendously. Over a billion dollars a year flows through this office.”

Weinstein also rejected notion that this is a backdoor raise gotten in secret saying it was sanctioned by the county solicitor.

“This was a total transparent process,” he said.

With the pay increase, John Weinstein’s salary will jump from $66,500 to $89,904 — an increase of 35 percent.

Chelsa Wagner will get the same. The controller salary also jumps $66,500 to $89,904.

But the solicitor’s opinion also said Sheriff Bill Mullen was entitled to a similar increase but Mullen turned it down and will continue to make the $64,000 a year.

Mullen declined to appear on camera and would say only it was not the right time for him to be taking a salary increase.

Weinstein says he and Wagner are only taking a cost of living increase retroactive to 1999 which he could have taken at any time.

“I basically saved the county about $150,000 in salary and benefits by not taking it which actually came out of my pocket,” he said. “But, it was not the right time – there’s never really a right time, Andy.”

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