Sheriff Caruana speaks out after county board votes to cut $4.3 million from his department

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Just days after the Winnebago County Board approves the 2018 budget, along with cuts to the Sheriff's Department, Sheriff Gary Caruana is speaking out.

Sheriff Caruana is not pleased after the board approved to cut $4.3 million from his department. He's now voicing his concerns and saying he's not cutting anyone from his department anytime soon.

Sheriff Caruana and Chief Judge Joe McGraw host a press conference this afternoon to express their concerns regarding the budget. They want to continue having discussions with the county board. Caruana says the way the budget was processed was flawed and confusing. He says he wants to further explain the consequences of cutting up to 100 people from his department. Chairman Frank Haney says with the cuts, we'll still have one of the largest public safety budgets in the state.

"No one really totally understands how devastating this budget is going to be to public safety. At this present time, I will not make any cuts to my personnel until I further investigate every option I have to me,” said Sheriff Gary Caruana.

"These are people we put our trust into, and they're good people at heart, and I know they're frustrated and I know they care and I know they do good work. But, this isn't the solution to really what is a structural budget problem that's been building over years,” said Winnebago County Chairman Frank Haney.

Chairman Haney says he has been in contact with Sheriff Caruana and says he is willing to sit down with him and Judge McGraw to discuss their differences.

Chairman Haney also says the budget is set and it is unlikely that major changes will be made to it, although there is a small chance that could still happen.