Skip to main content

Originally published August 16, 2014 at 5:07 PM | Page modified August 19, 2014 at 10:01 PM

  • Share:
  • Comments
  • Print

Handy tips on scam avoidance by chief City Light scam-ee

Columnist Ron Judd’s spin on newsworthy events.

Seattle Times staff columnist

Reader Comments
Hide / Show comments
Speaking of scams, SCL runs at least one of their own too. Be sure to check the first metered bill following an... MORE
Nine of every ten messages in Carrasco's inbox have come from Nigeria since the day he became a joke. MORE
You might want to consider investing in a generator if you don't already have one, Ron. Just some friendly advice. MORE


At first we were convinced it was satire — a fake publication from some smart alecks looking to punctuate the complete disfigurement of what’s left of the public image of Seattle City Light CEO Jorge Carrasco.

But nooo. No.

That’s a real issue of “Light Reading,” the July/August customer newsletter for “America’s Greenest Utility.” And that’s a real consumer-advice piece along the left side, headlined: “From the general manager.”

In it, Carrasco — globally famous for being duped by “Cherokees” asking for precious-metal handouts — is offering tips to avoid being duped, by grifters, in a scam.

We are willing to have this column notarized to the effect that we are not making this up.

The piece, with nary a nod to Carrasco’s Grifter Hall of Shame moment, warns about con artists cold-calling City Light customers and demanding payment for fake bills, or risk a power shut-off. It lists a series of “red flags” that might tip off the savvier among us.

And then the piece de resistance: Right next to a smiling mug shot of the man who, with zero verification, opened the city’s metal vaults to grifters who looked as much like Cherokees as a Dale Chihuly bowl, Carrasco cautions: “If approached in person by someone claiming to be from City Light ... ask to see their identification. ... Con artists are very creative in their quest to steal your money.”

City Light spokesman Scott Thomsen verified in an email that Carrasco signed off on the column. “The news of the copper scam in which we became victims broke last year.

“The general manager’s involvement also was first reported last year, so this column was written long after and had no connection to those events.

“Also, who knows better how con artists operate or what it feels like to be scammed than someone who has been a victim?”


Mr. Wrap at this point cannot decide if the City Light brain trust is engaged in incredible (and warmly appreciated) acts of charity for this column, or is actually out to take his job.

More slack-jawed amazement:

Next Week: Scam-fighting super hero Carrasco announces he’s leaving City Light to run for City Attorney on a Grifter Crackdown platform.

Note to City Council: We repeat. If you fire, discipline, mess with, or do anything else that might prompt this man to leave town, The Wrap will never, ever forgive. You can’t put a price tag on comedy gold of this purity.

Boat Capacity and Other Mysteries: That ferry overloaded with Seahawks fans that had to return to Bremerton Friday was an interesting social experiment: When there’s 500 people too many, who has to get off? Just an idea for next time: Start with people wearing face paint.

Attention, Nation’s Media: Peddling monthly “Super Moon” stories. It’s a full moon. There will be many others. Please get over it.

And Finally: A big note of civic thanks from all heat-loathing true natives to excitable garden-guru Ciscoe Morris, who, by penning a column last week in The Times about summertime drought and tree-watering, virtually ensured the deluge of rains that came with it.

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at or 206-464-8280.

Four weeks for 99 cents of unlimited digital access to The Seattle Times. Try it now!

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►