Mayor Dennis J. Kucinich said today that 400 of Cleveland's 10,000 public employes, including 275 police, will be laid off at the end of the week.
William McNea, president of the Cleveland Police Patrolmen's Association, said his group would go to court to block the layoffs.
Kucinich said the layoffs will become effective Friday and could remain in effect until a Feb. 27 referendum on whether to increase taxes and sell the city's electric utility.
The mayor said the layoffs could be averted only if the City Council agrees to sell $5.2 million in public land or if a state pension fund rescinds a lien on taxes and fees owed by the city.
He accused the council of reducing Cleveland's financial crisis "to a silly grudge match." Criticizing state officials, he said Gov. James Rhodes and Attorney General William Brown "haven't done anything for the city of Cleveland but hurt us."
The layoffs Friday will be spread among several city agencies but will not affect the fire, recreation, snow removal and street repair departments.
The city recently canceled the wholesale layoffs of 2,000 cmployes, including half its police and firefighters, when banks decided not to take immediate action to collect $14 million in defaulted city notes.
The city defaulted today on a $4.8 million payment to an employe pension fund because of a cash flow problem. Attorney General Brown has said the payment must be made by month's end or he will place a lien against the city's 1979 income tax receipts. Kucinich said today a lien on city income would mean even more layoffs.
Defaulting on the pension fund payment, which included about $2.7 million in safety forces contributions and $2.1 million for the public employe retirement system, also confronted the city with $240,000 in penalties.