Winnebago County sheriff sues county officials over budget

ROCKFORD, Ill. — A northern Illinois sheriff is suing the county board and top county officials, saying they’ve cut his office’s budget so much that the safety and well-being of residents is at risk.

The Rockford Register Star reports Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana filed a lawsuit Friday against the county board, chairman and treasurer.

It’s the latest move in a two-year fight over funding for the sheriff’s office.

The disagreement started when the board cut the sheriff’s office budget by $4.3 million in fiscal year 2018. Caruana didn’t make all the cuts. But one that he did make — laying off reserve deputies who provide security at county buildings — angered county officials.

Caruana’s lawsuit asks a judge to compel the county board to approve a budget that meets the sheriff’s obligations.

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