The city will seek as much as $3,000 in restitution from Former Chief of Staff Jared Kupiec for damages to a city vehicle found parked in front of his home, officials said.
City officials, who originally had planned to send a letter to Kupiec Tuesday notifying him that he must make reimbursement, said they will wait until the conclusion of a police investigation before pursuing the payment.
Kupiec, who left his city post two weeks ago, 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.
An officer noticed the break-ins and determined that one of the cars broken into was registered to the city, said Lt. Brian Foley, head of the department’s major crimes division.
The mayor’s office, in a statement released Monday night, said Kupiec was using the city vehicle “after the conclusion of his employment with the city of Hartford without authorization.” Kupiec’s last day was June 21. He received 2 1/2 weeks’ severance pay. His salary was $115,000 a year. He lives at 17 Capitol Ave.
The city’s internal audit commission also is investigating Kupiec’s use of the vehicle, sources said Tuesday.
Mayor Pedro Segarra said before a press conference Tuesday morning that he would seek full restitution for all damages to and use of the vehicle. Kupiec had “no permission whatsoever to use that vehicle,” Segarra said.
The car has been towed from Kupiec’s home to a public works lot, the mayor said. He said the behavior would not be tolerated.
“We need to show we’re going to be accountable and take whatever action we need to take when someone breaks our trust,” Segarra said.
Segarra said Kupiec’s other city belongings — including his city-issued cell phone, city-issued credit card, computer and iPad — have been turned in.
Kupiec’s city cell phone was re-issued to another city employee last week, said Maribel La Luz, Segarra’s spokeswoman.
By Jenna Carlesso, Hartford Courant