City Council: JSO budget issues not an emergency

Sheriff must lay off officers because of cuts

Published On: Aug 09 2012 02:20:29 PM EDT   Updated On: Aug 06 2012 08:16:24 PM EDT

Sheriff John Rutherford is facing a delay in his campaign to keep from laying off Jacksonville police officers.

The City Council rules committee said Monday it doesn't see a need to take up the Sheriff's Office budget issues as an emergency.

The sheriff says it is an emergency because he has to act now to try and avoid layoffs. Rutherford told the council members he should be able to keep money he saved this year.

The money in question is the amount officers took in pay cuts this year.

The sheriff says that money should be applied to the new budget so he can avoid even more layoffs. He already plans to close a community correction facility and lay off the corrections officers.

"One problem is moving inmates," Rutherford said. "I have about 300 inmates I have to relocate if we close that jail. I've got to notify officers, give them two weeks' notice, and when I lay off 58 correctional officers, I have to pay them for their leave time."

The committee said the sheriff should go through the entire budget process and have the hearings on the issues. Those will start next week.

Rutherford may not get an answer on whether he can keep the savings until the end of the month.