Lucas County sues City of Toledo for $1.3 million in jail costsWritten by Danielle Stanton | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lucas County Commissioners filed a lawsuit Dec. 2 against the City of Toledo for a breach of contract for services at the county jail.
The lawsuit, filed in Lucas County Common Pleas Court, demands payment of a fourth-quarter 2014 debt of $1.3 million the county says the city owes for inmates booked into the jail by Toledo Police.
“It’s not a palatable option,” said Carol Contrada, president of the Lucas County Commissioners. “We have a longstanding partnership [with the city] on a number of issues that are important to this region and we need to resolve these differences and move forward. But when one party in the contract breaches the contract sometimes you’re forced to take legal action. But we will continue to work with the city.”
As part of a budget-cutting strategy, Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins decided in October to have inmates booked under state law rather than city municipal code. The shift is expected to save the city $4 million, while costing the county the same amount. The county could also face an additional $5 million in costs for city inmates transported and housed at the regional jail near Stryker in Williams County due to overcrowding issues at Lucas County’s jail.
“We have a contract for services, but the contract trumps the revision to Ohio code,” Contrada said. “Those are contract services which we continue to provide.”
The city has offered to pay the county $516,123 for the fourth quarter, according to an Oct. 23 letter from Collins’ Chief of Staff Robert Reinbolt, which stated the city’s obligation is “not defined in any valid contract” and feels that amount is “equitable and reasonable” for the services provided.
But the county’s complaint states it agreed to offer pretrial/presentence services for the city for $865,071 annually, booking and custody services for $2.9 million annually, 35 reserved pretrial beds for $1.083 million annually and work release supervision services for $550,000 annually. All those fees are less than actual costs, the complaint states.
City Law Director Adam Loukx declined to comment, except to say, “We have a copy of the filing and will defend it and take appropriate actions to defend the city’s interest.”