Long Beach eyes borrowing cash to cover Dec. payroll

Hundreds of Long Beach public employees and retired police officers may not get a paycheck next month because the city says it's short on funds.

LONG BEACH - Hundreds of Long Beach public employees and retired police officers may not get a paycheck next month because the city says it's short on funds. The Republican-controlled City Council wants to borrow about $4 million to cover the December payroll and possibly police retirement payouts. Democrats, who will take control of the council come January, are blaming the GOP for mismanaging the city's budget.At the center of the controversy is the city's acting Police Commissioner Thomas Sofield, who is also the City Council president's father. Sofield retired as of yesterday, and according to Long Beach City Manager Charles Theofan, he's entitled to $505,000 in unpaid leave and other benefits. While Democrats claim the sum doesn't add up, Theofan insists Sofield's benefits calculation has been done the same way as that of every other police officer.Democratic council members tried to get an injunction preventing the city from paying Sofield, but a judge denied their request.The City Council is holding an emergency meeting to vote on whether to borrow the $4 million needed to cover the payroll.

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