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Emanuel Might Eliminate Department Of Environment

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Chicago City Hall (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to eliminate the city’s Department of Environment as he continues to prepare his plan to close a projected $637 million budget shortfall.

According to sources close to the matter, some positions within the Department of Environment would be eliminated altogether, while others would likely be merged into the General Services and Fleet Departments, which deal with energy-related issues like fuel for city vehicles — some of which are hybrid cars.

Still other positions would be shifted to the Mayor’s office to deal with environmental policy issues.

Rich Rodriguez, a longtime aide to former Mayor Richard M. Daley, was tapped to be a “caretaker” of the Environment Department under the Emanuel administration. He previously ran the CTA and was also Daley’s aviation commissioner and buildings commissioner during more than 12 years with the city.

Sources said that staffers at the Environment Department have been on edge since Emanuel took office, waiting for the ax to fall on their department.

As of Monday afternoon, CBS 2 was waiting for a response from Emanuel’s office.

–CBS 2 Political Producer Ed Marshall contributed to this report.

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