Lawsuit between Toledo, Lucas County continues to burden taxpayers

Lawsuit between Toledo, Lucas County continues to burden taxpayers
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - An expensive lawsuit between Lucas County and the City of Toledo continues to wage, costing tax payers money.

The lawsuit dates back three years when the county asked the city for money to help house prisoners at the Lucas County Jail. A judge ruled in the city's favor.

However, Lucas County appealed the decision where it is still pending.

As the suit carries on, taxpayers are paying for the growing legal bills.

City leaders later agreed to pay $3 million to help house the prisoners. However, the county is demanding $6.5 million. The county also wants to build the new Lucas County Jail on the grounds of Toledo Police's impound lot.

Both sides are hoping to reach some kind of an agreement outside of a courtroom to save tax payers money.

"If it is in the best interest of the city and the proposals by the county are in the best interest of the city, we certainly are open to any reasonable solution to move this forward," said Toledo law director Adam Loukx. "And I can't say it often enough, to do what's best for all of the people that we serve."

"Even though we've won at every level of appeal here, we are trying to work this out because this is both sides," said City Councilman Kurt Young. "Citizen's tax dollars, we don't like spending them on legal fees or anything like that, but from my perspective, I am not going to give away the tax dollars of the citizens of Toledo that easily."

Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Andy Douglas is representing the city. He says the entire situation is an outrageous and he was embarrassed neither side can come to an agreement.

"We have this bump in the road or bump in the relationship, that is this litigation," Loukx said. "But we continue to try to communicate together, and I think it's on both sides earnest. To say there is a difference of opinion I think may be an understatement."

Lucas County Commissioner says he does not believe the city and county can come to an agreement when it comes to the money for housing prisoners. Instead, he is hoping to secure the impound lot as a separate deal.

"In the best world, we would have a universal settlement, a settlement that settles our lawsuit and gets us the site. We don't think that's going to happen right now," Commissioner Gerken said. "When it comes to a site, it's in the city's best interest to locate this jail inside the city limits of Toledo."

A spokesperson for TPD says if the impound lot is sold, they do not expect to lose revenue. Rather, they would move to another location.

"I think it is a lot better being here," said Dennis Smith, who works across from the lot. "It's closer to the courthouse instead of that other place that they had. It would take a lot of time and gas money, taxpayers money I believe just to get them to and from the courthouse."

The Lucas County Commissioners called a special meeting Friday where they will talk about the new location of the jail. They also will discuss a new levy to help pay for it.

Follow WTOL:  

Download our app here

Copyright 2017 WTOL. All rights reserved.