Resident files lawsuit against Pittsburgh City Council over pay raise – CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Pittsburgh resident has filed a lawsuit against the Pittsburgh City Council over his controversial pay raise.

KDKA’s Jon Delano was the first to report on the board’s 22% pay rise, which has since been reversed.

READ MORE: Ohio GOP Senate debate leads to demand for apology

Carmen Brown filed the lawsuit on Monday. She wants the entire city council replaced, but she doesn’t believe that will happen. She hopes a judge will impose a sanction, such as fines.

“I’m so outraged by the process because that’s how they did it,” Brown said. “It was a lot of secrecy. They didn’t want the public to know.

Brown’s lawsuit alleges the city council may have violated the state’s Sunshine Law when council members discussed and debated their own pay raise behind closed doors on Feb. 5. Brown spoke during Saturday’s rare session.

“It’s very disgusting,” Brown said during the session. “I think it’s a breach of public trust.”

READ MORE: South Hills residents worry about drinking water

In the end, the Pittsburgh City Council voted 9-0 for a 6% raise instead of the 22% originally included in the budget. By comparison, city employees received an average raise of about 3%.

Brown also claims the city council violated the home rule charter after exceeding the average percentage increase in wages and salaries paid to all city employees. She also claims that council members manipulated the process.

“It’s a big part of the secrecy that outraged me,” Brown said.

“It’s our public money,” Brown added. “We have a right to know how you are going to spend that money.”

NO MORE NEWS: Washington County drug bust leads to 3 arrests

Pittsburgh City Council Speaker Theresa Kail-Smith said the council could not comment on the ongoing ligation and would not issue a statement. The city has 20 days to respond to the lawsuit once it is served.

William M. Mayer