Tuesday, Oct 23, 2018
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Report: Maumee Municipal Court to lose $800K this year

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Maumee Municipal Court's annual report is out and provides a glimpse of the challenges facing the court.

Judge Dan Hazard took over in January after winning the November election. He was scheduled to present the report at Monday's city council meeting, but he had to reschedule.

According to the 2017 report, the court assessed about $1.6 million in traffic and criminal case fines; it collected about $1.4 million. Total expenses for the court were about $1.5 million, almost all of which was spent on personnel. An additional $177,000 was spent on “other expenses,” including probation services and computer-related costs not incurred by the city of Maumee.

The court had more traffic and criminal cases last year (12,358) compared to 2016 (11,114), although the 725 civil cases filed were down from 844 in 2016.

The court's growing deficit over the years was a major component of the 2017 campaign for judge, approaching $900,000 in 2016. Judge Hazard said he would address staffing levels and is still reviewing the matter. The report says six fewer employees are working in the court.

The court is pegged to lose about $800,000 this year.

Judge Hazard’s report also acknowledges theft by former clerk Jane Monroe, who stole more than $30,000 from the court from August to September of last year.

Former Judge Gary Byers contracted with a local law firm to conduct an audit, which the report states was limited in scope and did not include how much money may have been missing prior to August.

The auditors made 22 recommendations for the court to implement. Judge Hazard says in the report he is working to put several in place.

The report also says the court likely will seek funding to conduct a performance audit to identify potential cost-cutting measures.

Maumee Municipal Court serves Maumee, Whitehouse, Providence, Waterville Township, and the city of Waterville, and portions of Monclova, Swanton, and Springfield Township south of the Ohio Turnpike. The court functions independent of Maumee, although the city is required to fund its budget.

Contact Jay Skebba at jskebba@theblade.com, 419-376-9414, or on Twitter @JaySkebba.

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