Chicago suburb of Harvey to lay off police, firefighters

HARVEY, Ill. - Officials in a Chicago suburb are laying off firefighters and police officers due to financial troubles precipitated by pension woes.

Attorney Bob Fioretti, who represents the city of Harvey, said Tuesday that 18 firefighters and half of the city's police officers will be laid off.

Harvey Mayor Eric Kellogg held an emergency meeting Monday after Cook County Circuit Judge Raymond W. Mitchell ruled the Illinois Comptroller's Office appropriately withheld $1.4 million to cover shortfalls in the city's pension fund.

Comptroller Susana Mendoza's office says it acted in response to state law that lets pension funds certify to the office that municipalities haven't made required payments.

Fioretti says the town will appeal the judge's ruling, which would redirect tax revenue until the city pays down between $5 million to $7 million in pension debt.

Police and firefighter union representative Jerry Marzullo calls the cuts "shameful."

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