TRENTON - The state of New Jersey is threatening to withhold a portion of the special aid it provides to Trenton unless the mayor agrees to have all his hires approved by a three-member panel.

If Mayor Tony Mack refuses, the state will withhold $6 million, enough money to pay for 19 officers to be rehired after 105 were laid off in September.

News 12 New Jersey spoke with Mayor Tony Mack today who said the state is doing its job by proposing the panel, but he said the goal since he took office is to be independent of any transitional aid.

Mack said the state would like an answer by Oct. 24. He said he plans to let them know of his decision before then.

Meanwhile, Trenton's police department is struggling in the wake of layoffs, frequent leadership changes and disputes over how best to deploy its officers.

In a span of a month, the city's embattled mayor laid off a third of the force, tried to restructure the department and appointed his fourth police director.

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