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Toledo, CCNO reach deal on 20 prisoners

Those charged by city to stay in regional jail

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    Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio

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    Douglas

    THE BLADE
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With a midnight deadline looming, the city of Toledo negotiated a contract Tuesday with the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio for housing the 20 prisoners serving sentences for Toledo Municipal Code violations.

Andy Douglas, a lawyer for the city, said the 11th-hour agreement calls for Toledo inmates currently in the jail near Stryker to remain there until they complete their sentences.

However, Toledo will begin sending people sentenced under city ordinances to the Wood County Justice Center in Bowling Green, he said.

“Municipal court will now order defendants to be transferred to the custody of the sheriff of Wood County,” Mr. Douglas said.

As of today, the city of Toledo is officially no longer a member of the CCNO. The city’s nearly 30-year partnership in the Corrections Commission ended at midnight when 60 days had passed since a nearly $1.32 million quarterly bill was due for the city’s share of beds at the facility. The quarterly bill, which covers 228 of CCNO’s 638 beds, pays for about 36 percent of the jail’s operating costs through September.

Jim Dennis, CCNO executive director, had been in talks with Mr. Douglas and Toledo police Chief George Kral on a contract that would allow the city to continue using the regional jail for prisoners sentenced for violating city ordinances.

The agreement reached Tuesday calls for the city to pay the non-member rate of $90.06 per day for each inmate. The city had been paying the rate of $70.03 charged for contract members, which include Defiance, Henry, Fulton, Lucas, and Williams counties.

Toledo, according to terms of the agreement, will pay the full rate for 15 inmates sentenced under city ordinances and a pro-rated charge for prisoners serving mixed sentences for Toledo Municipal Code and state law violations.

The city’s default on the quarterly bill payment is fallout from a June 27 decision in Lucas County Common Pleas Court over the nearly two-year dispute among the city, Lucas County, and the regional jail over incarceration costs.

Judge Lewis Linton, Jr.,  threw out bylaw changes in the regional jail’s operating agreement and upheld the city’s charging policy that holds the county responsible for jail costs of defendants arrested by Toledo police.

The decision put back in place an amendment that allows members to be kicked out if they are in default on payments after 60 days.

Toledo City Council authorized Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson in July to negotiate with Wood County on a contract. A tentative agreement reached with Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn calls for Wood County to charge the city $65 a day per bed and a one-time $40 booking fee on each inmate. It also calls for the city to reimburse Wood County for transporting Toledo prisoners.

Sheriff Wasylyshyn said he can guarantee to provide up to 25 beds for Toledo inmates arrested by Toledo police accused of violating the Toledo Municipal Code.

The working agreement with Wood County, the sheriff said, would require Toledo to make advanced monthly payments for the bed allotment.

Mr. Douglas said the city was willing to remain a contract member in the regional jail and use 35 beds, but on the condition that the Corrections Commission drop its appeal of Judge Lewis’ decision.

Mr. Dennis could not be reached for comment.

The city did not have the option of asking Sheriff John Tharp to house the prisoners in the Lucas County jail because of a federal court order capping the inmate population at the county jail at 403.

A document was filed in the case to continue the Nov. 5, 2014, order issued by U.S. District Judge James Carr keeping the cap in place. The order stems from a 1970 lawsuit.

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.

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