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Who is responsible to pay the bill for those inmates sent from the Toledo Municipal Court was the center of discussion during two meetings involving the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio.
Members of the CCNO financial overview committee as well as the governing board heard from Toledo and Lucas County officials, the CCNO attorney and fellow board members during the meetings that lasted for more than two hours.
Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken asked officials to continue using the traditional billing system based on the sentencing court and not sentenced charge until a settlement can be reached between the City of Toledo and Lucas County. He voiced objection to the additional funds Lucas County had been charged for inmates sentenced by the Toledo Municipal Court under Ohio Revised Code charges.
Adam Loukx, City of Toledo Law Department Director, argued that the CCNO operating agreement does not specify that billing is by court but rather that each jurisdiction pay a proportionate share. Further, the Ohio Revised Code states that those inmates charged under Ohio Revised Code are the responsibility of Lucas County. He argued that state statutes and the attorney general do not support Mr. Gerkenís proposal. He said Toledo is still paying its proportionate share for their 228 allocated beds.
The controversy occurred back in October 2014 when the City of Toledo stopped arresting offenders under the cityís municipal codes and began filing charges under Ohio Revised codes. CCNO Executive Director Jim Dennis said he was asked by former Toledo Mayor Michael Collins to base billings for the City of Toledo on those only arrested under municipal code, not Ohio Revised Codes. Mr. Dennis said he sought legal counsel, read and reviewed legal and legislative opinions and made changes in the billing system which was allowed under the operating agreement.
The CCNO financial overview committee, as well as the governing board, were asked to review the actions taken by Mr. Dennis in regards to the billing changes. Committee and board members made no changes to the current billing process.
Board members did agree to waive the 15 percent overage penalty until current bed allocation figures could be reviewed.
Mr. Gerken said the issue is not over, noting that Lucas County may be only one-sixth of the voting board but remains a large revenue provider to CCNO. He said that the issue may be taken before a judge for final determination.
All parties present did agree that a special ad hoc committee review the current CCNO operating agreement, especially in light of issues involving the City of Toledo and Lucas County. It was also noted that the City of Toledo and Lucas County could working out their own agreement in regards to CCNO billing to present to the board as a whole.
Board members did take a moment of silence to remember former Toledo Mayor Michael Collins who died February 6.
Board members accepted a sole bid from Cardinal Bus Sales for the purchase of a prisoner transport vehicle at a cost of $147,000 which includes trade-in.
Board members met in executive session for six minutes to discuss personnel. No action was taken.
This site was updated on October 25, 2016