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Guard Troops May Be Needed In Jefferson Co.

Birmingham, AL – A judge has cleared the way for more workforce cuts in Alabama's most populous county, and National Guard troops could be called in.

A judge ruled Tuesday that leaders in Jefferson County could go ahead with plans to slash $4.1 million from the budget of Sheriff Mike Hale, who filed suit to block the cuts.

A spokesman for Hale, Randy Christian, said the sheriff told Gov. Bob Riley after the ruling that state assistance may be needed to perform basic law enforcement tasks once the department's funding runs out in early September.

Among the possibilities, Christian said, is seeking help from the Alabama National Guard.

About 1,000 county workers already are on unpaid leave because courts threw out a key county tax.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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