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The county administrator who stole Christmas
A cash-strapped New York county gives Santa a pink slip — and more in our collection of strange revelations about the nation
Only in America: Cash-strapped county fires Santa Claus Karin Dreyer/Blend Images/Corbis
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ot even Santa is safe in these troubled economic times. In New York's Suffolk County, county administrator Steve Levy opted to trim $660 from the annual $2.7 billion budget by giving St. Nick the boot. Levy says he couldn't justify paying 83-year-old David McKell, a former homicide detective and WWII vet, to play Santa when hundreds of county employees were facing layoffs. After constituents called the Republican Levy a Grinch, a local Democrat gunning to succeed Levy stepped in to pay Santa's salary out of his own pocket. Christmas crisis averted.

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