A Lot Of Controversy Over A Little Money

Williams County Sher­iff Steve Towns, along with Ful­ton County Sher­iff Roy Miller and Defi­ance County Sher­iff David Westrick were at the meet­ing Mon­day after­noon as Toledo Mayor M. Michael Collins and Lucas County Com­mis­sioner Pete Gerkin argued over $665.65.

It all went down yes­ter­day after­noon dur­ing an exec­u­tive com­mit­tee meet­ing of the board of the Cor­rec­tions Cen­ter of North­west Ohio.

The dis­pute began when the police chief of Toledo asked for the meet­ing to set­tle up on two trans­fers from the Lucas County Jail to CCNO over the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day week­end.

Accord­ing to the Bryan Times, Defi­ance County Sher­iff David Westrick chaired the meet­ing, and Lucas County Jail is under a court-ordered man­date cap­ping its pop­u­la­tion at 403 inmates. When they reach capac­ity, CCNO, takes the over­flow.

The hol­i­day inmate trans­fer racked up 104 miles for each round trip and some over­time. Appar­ently, the $600+ dol­lars was too steep for Gerkin and Collins, who both refused to pay, and also refused to pay any future trans­porta­tion debts to CCNO too.

Collins said the City of Toledo paid more than $3 mil­lion for CCNO’s con­struc­tion in 1987 and con­tin­ues to pay for bed space at the facil­ity, whether those beds are used or not at any given time. He added that the Lucas County Jail should have antic­i­pated the surge over the week­end, and should have loaded the CCNO bus to its max­i­mum capac­ity of 28 inmates on Fri­day and elim­i­nated the Sat­ur­day run alto­gether.

Collins says the whole thing was noth­ing but games­man­ship aimed at jus­ti­fy­ing con­struc­tion of a new multi-million-dollar jail in Lucas County.

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