HARVEY, Ill. — On Monday, an appellate court granted a temporary restraining order against the Illinois Comptroller’s decision to withhold $1.4 million from the city of Harvey over its underfunded police and fire pensions.
On Friday, 30 emergency responders lost their jobs because the suburb couldn’t pay into the fund.
The state comptroller stepped in on behalf of the pension fund and began garnishing city money to make up what Harvey was not contributing.
While certainly not the only Illinois municipality to have pension funding problems, Harvey is the first to have its funds withheld by the comptroller according to Harvey mayor Eric Kellogg.
As a result, under Kellogg’s direction as many a total of 40 police and firefighters were laid off in recent days.
But the temporary restraining order believes Harvey Alderman Christopher Clark who is a political foe of Kellogg’s is just that – temporary and a permanent garnishment of funds in court may come to be until and if it can back on solid financial ground.
“As far as the pension is concerned, it’s a bit conflicting because you want the firefighters and police officers to come back but they should have never been laid off in the first place. At the same time you want the pension fund to be able to have its pension but the overarching issue is the mismanagement of funds which got us to this situation in the first place,” Clark said.