It will be back to crisis as usual in debt-ridden Cleveland today with Mayor Dennis J. Kucinich prepared to defy the Ohio attorney general's office over an employe pension funds payment of almost $5 million.
Finance Director Joseph Tegreene said the city could not pay on time because of restricted cash flow. But a spokesman for the attorney general's office said it would insist on prompt payment.
Cleveland missed a $2.7 million payment to the police and firemen's disability pension fund on Dec. 15, the same day it defaulted on $15.5 million worth of short-term bank notes. The pension fund board placed a lien on some city tax funds to cover the missed payment, typing up city finamces.
The new pension fund payment includes $2.7 million in safety forces contributions and $2.1 million due thepublic employe retirement system today. The city will owe $240,000 in penalties unless the payments are received in Columbus on time.
"We're not going to pay on time," Tegreene said over the weekend. "Our cash flow won't allow it. It was a choice between making or payrolls or pension payments."
Tegreene said the city might be able to pay later this month.
The attorney general's office could place additional liens on city tax funds, including real estate taxes, after Jan. 31, until the entire amount is paid.