In an effort to balance the city's budget, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is calling on municipal employees to pay their dues. City workers owe $3 million in unpaid parking tickets, traffic violations and outstanding utility bills.
Now, the mayor is giving the indebted one month to pay the fines or enter a payment program that will last up to one year. After that period, the Department of Revenue may garnish employee wages or administer suspensions. "I am creating a culture of accountability in City government and it simply is not acceptable that City employees have $3 million in outstanding debt owed to Chicago's taxpayers," Emanuel said in a statement. According to NBC, the Chicago Transit Authority has the highest proportion of indebted workers among government departments, with more than 20 percent of its 10,279 workers owing a total of $714,544. City Council and sanitation department employees both owe heavily as well. Last month, the Emanuel administration scaled back use of government credit cards among workers in another attempt to rein in debt.