Cook County’s Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Ponni Arunkumar defended her department’s plans to lay off 18 employees in the county’s toxicology lab at Tuesday’s morning hearing, which she argued would save more than $1 million on salaries, equipment, and testing costs, while also maintaining one of the county’s coveted accreditations. The department’s proposed budget for 2017 is $13.6 million.

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