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Lame Duck Stops Splashing on County Budget

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Remember the partisan tension surrounding the Allegheny County budget? (News Briefs: "Republicans Fight Dems to Bitter End in County ...", Dec. 3) Well, one hour before County Council's Dec. 2 meeting -- and after City Paper's deadline for the Dec. 3 issue -- the tension melted away. Outgoing Republican County Executive Jim Roddey had objected to Democratic plans to create a $2.1 million contingency fund to pay off terminated employees, and said $1.5 million in sheriff's office fees had been counted twice. But with the possibility of a veto looming, Roddey and Council's Democratic majority agreed to move $1.5 million from the contingency fund into the budget of Sheriff Pete DeFazio. At council's meeting, there was much bickering about chronic overspending by elected row officers like the Democrat DeFazio, but the deal held, and the budget passed, 14-0. DeFazio was briefly at the meeting to be honored for his induction into the International Police Association Hall of Fame, and seemed satisfied. "We're going to be able to live within whatever they give us," he told City Paper. If so, that would be the first time in recent memory that DeFazio hasn't busted his budget.

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