By CHICAGO (CBS)
Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said his office would be eviscerated if the Preckwinkle administration goes forward with a plan to lay off up to 925 sheriff’s employees due to budget cuts if a judge doesn’t allow the county’s sweetened beverage tax to go into effect soon.
“It’s beyond reckless to ask me to lay off that amount of people,” Dart said.
A Cook County judge has temporarily blocked the county’s penny-per-ounce soda tax, and a hearing on the matter has been delayed until next week.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has said the county is sending out 1,100 layoff notices due to the delay in imposing the sugary drink tax, because the county cannot collect the $17 million in monthly revenue it expected from the tax. Of those layoffs, 925 would be at the sheriff’s office, which makes up about 40 percent of the county budget.
“I believe they’re saying they’re going to have 1,100 cuts total throughout the county, and I’m going to take about 80 percent of them? I mean, that’s insane,” Dart said.
The sheriff said he doesn’t know how his office can meet the demand for 925 layoffs.
“This is just not a way to run any government,” Dart said. “Eviscerating this office is not a way thoughtful people proceed.”