City Leaders Face Jail with Current Budget

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There's good news -- the Lansing CIty Council has voted, approved and balanced next year's budget. The bad news -- this year's bottom line is unbalanced by more than three million dollars, and that's a problem of criminal proportions.

City leaders face misdemeanor charges of not following the city charter if the 2004-2005 budget is not balanced in 17 days.

It's a violation of the city's charter and a state budget act.

It could mean up to 90 days in jail and a 500 dollar fine, for those responsible for the delay.

While the threat is serious, the reality is city leaders are highly unlikely to see jail time.

Both the mayor's office and council members fail to remember anyone charged with the crime of failing to follow the charter.