The small Chicago suburb of Harvey, IL, cut the jobs of police officers, firefighter, and other public safety employees Tuesday.
Officials did not respond to a request from the Chicago Tribune for comment on Tuesday but the lawyer who represents both Harvey’s police and fire unions said 18 rank-and-file firefighters and 13 patrolmen are believed to have been let go. Another nine police department employees who are not sworn officers — including five booking officers and traffic and records clerks — also had their positions cut, said Dominique Randle-El, the president of AFSCME Council 31 Local 2404.
Overall, the 40 cuts represent about a quarter of the city’s police union members, 40 percent of its firefighters union and 55 percent of its non-sworn police personnel, union officials said.
Jerry Marzullo, who represents the Metropolitan Alliance of Police Chapter 234 and the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 471, called the cuts “shameful,” and criticized them for apparently not touching management or civilian employees who are related to Mayor Eric Kellogg.
Harvey’s layoffs come a day after Circuit Court Judge Raymond W. Mitchell denied the city’s emergency motion requesting that he order Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza to stop withholding revenues the city receives from the state.
Since February, the comptroller’s office has withheld a combined $1,484,000 in city sales, income, local use, transportation, motor fuel, replacement and excise tax revenues at the request of the Harvey Police Pension Fund, spokesman Abdon Pallasch said.
The pension fund, which won a multi-million dollar judgment against the city in 2015, claims Harvey remains more than $7 million delinquent in its payments.