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Regulation revamp reworked: Lee County Board adjusts enforcement rules after public complaints

September 19, 2018

DIXON – The Lee County Board, which is taking another month to fine tune a package of proposed law enforcement regulations before putting it to a vote, nixed the section that raised the most concerns with board members.

In June, the board was introduced to an ordinance that would make it easier for the sheriff’s department to fine repeat offenders for about a dozen offenses, including abandoned and inoperable vehicles, loud noise after hours, fighting in businesses or public places, public urination or defecation, trespassing, curfew, disobeying police officers, underage drinking, illegal fireworks, farm animals roaming at large, public drunkenness, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol at a private campground.

The fines range from $100 to $750, and would apply only to complaints in unincorporated areas in the county.

The board has pushed back a vote on the ordinance since July and agreed Tuesday to send it back to its public safety committee next month for review.

One of the main changes made last week in committee was to cut out the section on livestock roaming at large because of repeated complaints board members heard from community members.

Board member Greg Witzleb said they’re also looking at tweaking the offense for inoperable vehicles.

Ordinance violations require a more lax burden of proof than criminal offenses, focusing on preponderance of the evidence rather than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. More than half of the evidence would need to point to the offense, as in civil cases.

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