By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia’s new sheriff, Jewell Williams, went before City Council asking for a whopping 25 percent increase in his budget, but he’s backing off for now on his desire to get a new city-issued SUV.
In his nearly 45-minute appearance at the City Council budget hearing, Sheriff Jewell Williams made no mention of his request — first reported in February by the Daily News — for a brand new $38,000 Chevy Tahoe.
Williams told reporters later that it was the previous sheriff, Barbara Deeley, who wanted the SUV, though he made clear he’s not wild about his current set of wheels.
Reporter: “Are you asking for a new one?”
Reporter: “Are you fine with it?”
Williams: “I’m not fine with it, but that’s what I’m driving.”
Daily News: “What would you like?”
Williams: “I’m not going there. I’m not going to go there.”
Reporter: “You said you’re not fine with it, so it begs the question.”
Williams: “I’m not going to go there. I’m just driving the Escort.”
Daily News: “You’re driving the Escort.”
Williams: “I’m just driving the Escort.”
Reporter: “But you’d like something better.”
Actually Sheriff Williams is driving a 2012 city issued Ford Escape SUV.
Williams — now in his third month as Sheriff — is asking for an additional $3.5 million for his office, a nearly 25 percent increase. Some council members voiced reservations about the funding request when other departments and agencies face cuts and when residents may face higher property taxes.