12/25/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Stroger Threatens Huge Lay Offs If County Doesn't Get $740 Million

Nine months after a sales-tax increase that was expected to bring in nearly $400 million a year passed, Cook County Board President Todd Stroger is warning that thousands of workers will be laid off if commissioners don't approve borrowing $740 million.

Treasurer Maria Pappas was told that 85 of her 135 employees would have to go. Sheriff Tom Dart was told that 1,500 of his 5,900 would get the ax.

"You're looking at Draconian cuts, which equals significant layoffs," said Donna Dunnings, the county's chief financial officer appointed by Stroger. The borrowing, she added, is needed to cover unavoidable costs, most of which already won board approval.

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