Former Mayor Says City Not Facing Deficit

CLEVELAND (AP) - Former Mayor Michael R. White (pictured, right) said Wednesday that he knows of no reason why the city's budget would have a $56 million shortfall that Mayor Jane Campbell announced this week.

White said he produced a draft 2002 budget in early January that had no deficit and would not require job cuts.

Campbell on Tuesday warned that she may have to lay off some city employees to resolve the deficit.

She also said she has been unable to locate $11.8 million in leftover money from the 2001 budget that White had announced in his final press conference as mayor.

White said Wednesday that the figure was based on information provided to him by the city finance directors, and he has no reason to believe it is incorrect.

White also said he felt like his reputation was being impugned in discussions of the budget. He said he believes Campbell's statements about the budget are not being scrutinized to the same degree as when he was in office.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)