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By KELLY GLISTA, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hartford Courant
11:31 PM EDT, July 30, 2013
HARTFORD — Mayor Pedro Segarra's former chief of staff, who had been under investigation for using a city vehicle after he left his position amid criticism in June, was arrested on Tuesday.
Jared Kupiec, 30, faces charges of using a motor vehicle without the owner's permission and interfering with police, both misdemeanors, said Lt. Brian Foley, head of the police department's Major Crimes Division.
Kupiec turned himself in Tuesday afternoon, and was released on a promise to appear in court, Foley said. He is scheduled to be in court on Aug. 8.
The case has been turned over to the Chief State's Attorney's Office, Foley said.
Thomas Clarke, assistant to the mayor and chief of staff, said the office would have no comment on the case Tuesday night. "It is a police matter that is out of our hands," Clarke said.
Kupiec's last day of city employment was June 21. His possession of the city vehicle came to the attention of Hartford police on July 8 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 involved was registered to the city, said Foley.
Kupiec initially told investigating officers he didn't know how the city vehicle ended up in front of his building, but later admitted to police that he had used it, according to Maribel La Luz, Segarra's spokesperson.
The city plans to seek as much as $3,000 in restitution for damages to the vehicle, officials said earlier this month. City officials said they would wait until the police investigation had concluded before pursuing the payment.
"Jared worked incredibly hard for the people of Hartford," Kupiec's attorney, Ross Garber, said. "This unfortunate issue relates to time following that work. It does not diminish his accomplishments. We are in the process of addressing this matter."
In the months before his resignation, Kupiec had been criticized for charging a $700 New Year's Eve dinner at Max Downtown to his city-issued credit card. The meal was for eight people, including the mayor, who dined on caviar, rack of lamb and oysters, records show. Kupiec and Segarra later reimbursed the city for the meal.
He was also criticized by the city's chief auditor, H. Patrick Campbell, for having access to a gym at the city's new public safety facility. That access was subsequently revoked.
Laurie Perez of FOX CT contributed to this story.
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