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New top cop McCarthy to make $50,000 less than Weis

Supt. Garry McCarthy

Supt. Garry McCarthy

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Updated: August 3, 2011 5:22PM

Newly appointed Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy will receive an annual salary of $260,004 — $49,996 less than his predecessor Jody Weis — officials disclosed Wednesday after the City Council confirmed his appointment.

The former police chief in Newark, N.J., McCarthy will also be reimbursed for $7,500 in relocation expenses.

McCarthy was hired by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to replace Weis, who resigned when his three-year, $310,000-a-year contract expired on March 1.

Weis was a career FBI agent who rank-and-file police officers viewed as an outsider who didn’t have their backs.

Former Mayor Richard M. Daley agreed to pay him an unprecedented $310,000-a-year salary to serve as police superintendent and chief emergency officer, only to strip away the second title shortly after Weis arrived in Chicago.

McCarthy will not have a contract, just a letter of intent outlining his salary and benefits. Emanuel had promised to pay him considerably less than Weis and delivered. The new superintendent will be paid $43,794 more than the mayor, whose salary stands at $216,210.

Although McCarthy is being paid considerably less than Weis, Fire Commissioner Robert Hoff is in line for a nine percent pay raise. Under former Mayor Richard M. Daley, Hoff’s annual salary was $185,652. Under Emanuel, he’ll be paid $202,728-a-year.

During the Council debate on McCarthy’s nomination, aldermen had only praise for the mayor’s choice.

“I can’t think of a better candidate. ... You’ve played the game and you know how to manage a team. ... It’s already improved morale,” said downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd).

Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th), said he has polled scores of police officers who live in his Southwest Side ward and “every one of them is excited.”

Ald. Bob Fioretti (2nd) urged McCarthy to “find a way to get ahead of the curve” created by young punks who use Twitter, Facebook and text messages to give marching orders to “flash mobs’’ that commit shoplifting and even robberies.

Ald. Ray Suarez (31st) also referred to the downtown mob attacks, urging McCarthy to “immediately put a stop” to a problem that is “giving our city a really bad name.”

After the unanimous confirmation vote, Emanuel came down from the rostrum to shake McCarthy’s hand and give him a hug. But not before reminding the new superintendent of his awesome responsibility.

“No other appointment will touch as many of our constituents,” the mayor said.

At his confirmation hearing earlier this week, McCarthy vowed to diversify the ranks, independently audit crime statistics to restore public confidence and implement an evaluation system that allows officers to rate the bosses who are reviewing them.

He also revealed that the 500 officers he reassigned from specialized units to high-crime districts “may not go back” when the temporary summer deployment ends. He even promised to find “a couple hundred” more officers by calling a halt to all administrative functions by those in uniform.

But McCarthy will remain on the political hot seat until police get a handle on the flash mobs and wildings in the downtown area that, Emanuel has acknowledged, are damaging Chicago’s reputation as a safe place to live, work, play and shop.

Another round of mob incidents Tuesday night only added fuel to the political fire.

McCarthy’s appointment wasn’t the only one confirmed at Wednesday’s meeting.

The City Council also ratified other members of Emanuel’s cabinet after a frenzied series of confirmation hearings in recent days.

Appointees seated include such key officials as Budget Director Alexandra Holt, Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton, Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein, Human Resources Commissioner Soo Choi, 911 center chief Gary Schenkel, Cultural Affairs Commissioner Michelle Boone and Buildings Commissioner Mike Merchant.

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