Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said today she will close up to three floors of the jail and release up to 500 inmates early to help her close a budget deficit. The changes would take effect Feb. 8.
Mims said a shortage of sales tax revenue has given her a $3.9 million budget gap for the fiscal year ending June 30. That figure is lower than what Mims reported last week. She said she has identified a variety of other revenue to offset anticipated deficits. Those include asset forfeiture funds and planned promotions and hires.
Mims declined to identify the number of employees she will be laying off, but said she will do so this afternoon after she files notification papers with the county personnel department.
However, a union official told the Fresno County Board of Supervisors this morning that he understands up to 69 correctional officers are likely to be laid off. Mims did not dispute that figure at a Board of Supervisors meeting at which the layoffs were discussed. Shortly after the start of this budget year, Mims laid off 30 correctional officers and closed a floor at the Fresno County jail, releasing inmates early, to help close a budget gap.