City wins lawsuit over county, will not pay for CCNO prisoners

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A lawsuit between the city and the county that cost hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars has come to a close.

The Ohio Supreme Court denied the appeal Wednesday to hear the City of Toledo v. CCNO and the Lucas County Commissioners on paying for prisoners.

Because the appeal was denied, the decision reverts back to the appellate court ruling in December 2017.

That ruling says the city wins and will not pay CCNO for prisoners.

Toledo mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz says he is pleased the court declined to hear the appeal, which allows the lower court ruling in the city's favor to stand.

He says the city and county need to work together cooperatively in the future rather than engage in court battles.

"It is in the best interest of the city and the county to have a good working relationship. We have many common goals, including the development of a materials recycling facility, that we want to advance. I am glad this case is finally over, and I look forward to continuing to work with our county on our shared goals and objectives," Mayor Kapszukiewicz said.

The denial of the appeal also means legal fees for taxpayers will come to a stop. For the past two and a half years combined, the city and county have paid more than $300,000. Lucas County has paid $182,773.50 to attorney Fritz Byers.

Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken said he thinks the public will be happy knowing they are no longer spending money on this and they can get back to the business of governing.

He said that no one expected it would last  two and a half years to get to a decision.

Gerken added there is some relief that comes with this, even though it did not go the county's way. He said each side used the court system the way it is supposed to be used.

"This shadow has not passed from us. That is something to be celebrated, somebody is going to be right, somebody is going to be wrong, the court said what the court said, we'll accept that," said Gerken.

"The savings through having this policy are huge, in the many millions of dollars, so it is from an economic stand point it is worth the cost of getting to the point of finality," said Adam Loux, with the City of Toledo law department.

Gerken said his did strain their ability to work with the city.

Both sides said they are ready and willing to work on projects together moving forward, and are glad to finally close this chapter.

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