HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra is defending a $7,650 pay raise he received in January as well as a $20,000 salary increase he gave to his chief of staff, as the city struggles with a $56 million deficit.

Segarra told The Hartford Courant on Monday (http://cour.at/HQ7n0Z ) that his raise will allow him to donate more money to charitable groups in the city, and he plans to donate his entire pay increase. His annual salary is now $146,779.

The mayor said his 29-year-old chief of staff, Jared Kupiec, earned his raise and is only being paid as much as former Mayor Eddie Perez’s chief of staff, Matthew Hennessy. Kupiec’s pay increased to about $115,000 from $95,000 in January.

Segarra also said he’s slashed more than $41 million from the mayor’s office budget since he took over the position in 2010.

Information from: The Hartford Courant, http://www.courant.com

     (Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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