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Commissioners propose charging cities and towns jail user fees

September 28, 2018

The Allen County commissioners today proposed charging municipalities for the pre-hearing jail time of people they arrest.

The proposal came as a draft ordinance, and no vote was taken. Commissioners said it was only to stimulate further discussion among county officials and their counterparts in Fort Wayne, New Haven, Monroeville and Woodburn, where arrestees are sent to the county jail to await their first hearing.

Republican County Commissioner Nelson Peters said preliminary figures suggest Fort Wayne would pay more than $675,000 annually for those arrested there.

But another wrinkle came after the meeting, when he told The Journal Gazette the cost of the jail time of arrestees could be passed on to them.

“Absolutely,” he said. 

That was quickly tempered by commissioners’ Chairwoman Therese Brown, also a Republican, who said a decision about that would require further scrutiny and negotiation. Some people who are arrested are not guilty, she said. 

For more on this story, read Saturday’s print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 1 a.m. Saturday.    

rsalter@jg.net

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