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By JENNA CARLESSO, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hartford Courant
5:34 PM EDT, July 17, 2013
The internal audit commission has agreed to review the city's policies on city vehicles, including procedures and assignments.
City council President Shawn Wooden had requested an audit of the vehicles following reports that Mayor Pedro Segarra's former chief of staff, Jared Kupiec, was in possession of a city-issued Ford Explorer two weeks after he left his job.
Commissioner Bruce Rubenstein said Tuesday that it will take the group time to complete the audit because the city does not maintain a centralized list of the vehicles it issues to employees.
"It's a lot of work to develop a centralized list," he said.
Wooden had sent a letter to commissioners last week asking them to look into the matter.
"It is crucial that the city council have a much better understanding of how city vehicles are utilized," Wooden wrote in the letter. "In addition to evaluating the system for assigning and securing vehicles, please include an accounting of all city vehicles by department and individual, and whether these vehicles are driven only during work hours or taken home at the end of the day."
Kupiec is under investigation by the Hartford Police Department's internal affairs division for using a city vehicle after he left his post on June 21.
Kupiec's possession of the vehicle came to the attention of Hartford police July 8 as they investigated several car break-ins along Capitol Avenue near Main Street. Kupiec, 30, lives at 17 Capitol Ave.
An officer noticed the break-ins and determined that one of the cars broken into was registered to the city, police said. The mayor's office has said Kupiec was using the vehicle without authorization.
"I believe it is critically important to understand how this happened and how to make sure that operational procedures are in place to [ensure] that this does not happen in the future," Wooden wrote in his letter, referring to the Kupiec incident.
Wooden had asked that the commission complete the audit by Sept. 30. Members said Tuesday that they would work to finish it quickly, but that they wouldn't labor under a specific deadline.
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