State owes thousands due to glitch in payment system - FOX 32 News Chicago

State owes thousands due to glitch in payment system

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Something's gone haywire with a new law that was supposed to crack down on state employees who had overdue parking tickets.

"I know they have the right to take our money, but they don't have the right to take extra money," U of I employee Veronica Sanchez said.

Sanchez says her son won't be having his birthday party next week and here's why: Sanchez is a managed care coordinator for the University of Illinois. Under a law passed in February, the state can withhold 25 percent of her paychecks to pay cities like Chicago for her unpaid parking tickets.

An ex-boyfriend rang up about $1400 in unpaid tickets on her car, so she accepted that the state could deduct about $300 every two weeks from her paychecks, starting in February.

"You work for the state, they're just going to withdraw it until you meet your balance," Sanchez said.

But for Sanchez and dozens of other U. of I. employees, the withdrawals haven't stopped. More than $2000 has been deducted from her paychecks, far more than she owed.

It's Illinois comptroller Judy Barr Topinka who handles these deductions. She declined to go on camera, but a spokesperson told us there are 85 employees who have had excessive withdrawals.

They blame a problem with the "university payment system" and say that employees are getting reimbursed with separate checks.

But Sanchez says those reimbursement checks come too late for people living paycheck to paycheck, and she's had to make adjustments like postponing her son's birthday party.

"We have two car loans, his school, the rent, our bills, and there is no way we could afford his birthday party, so we are just going to postpone it," Sanchez said.

The comptroller's spokesperson says the problems with continuing withdrawals from these paycheck should be solved by mid-July.


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