Trouble in Mercer Co. - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Trouble in Mercer Co.

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Mercer County is a small Illinois county with big financial problems.

"As of Thursday, there was no money to pay employees and there was a $500,000 bond payment that has not been paid," said Mercer County Board member Brian Anseeuw.

That half million was supposed to go toward the jail. So how did the county wind up with so much debt?  Anseeuw says its bad leadership.

County Board Chairman Maxine Henry says, "No comment," about the budget problem.

Right now, there is no budget and that's illegal. The board needed to get a budget to the state by last Friday and as of  Monday, Dec. 3, it had not been filed.  That means current board members could face jail time. What does the delay mean to the people of Mercer County?

"Were in the position where there is going to be layoffs and furloughs," said Anseeuw.

He says much of the cuts could come from the sheriff's department. If the half a million dollar payment isn't made to the jail, board members tell us the county could be looking at bankruptcy.