Saturday, June 24, 2006


Goofy looking Hamilton County Commissioner Pat DeWine (above photo) & Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis Jr. standing in front of the Hamilton County Justice Center in downtown Cincinnati.

This comes from the Cincinnati Enquirer online edition. Read this then let's talk about it...


Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis Jr. blasted Commissioner Pat DeWine in a scathing letter Thursday for what Leis called an "unrealistic and unacceptable" DeWine plan to build a new jail. "Your position is yet another of the backward steps I have experienced over the years which have delayed the construction of this much-needed (jail)," Leis wrote to DeWine.

For more than a decade, Leis has been pushing for a new jail. Now, his department is releasing inmates early and not admitting others because of overcrowding at the Justcie Center and the 2,274-bed Hamilton County jail system. Hamilton County also is paying $65 per day to house up to 200 of its inmates at the Butler County jail.

In January, a county consultant recommended Hamilton County build a new 1,800-bed, $225 million jail. That recommendation also called for the closing of three other jail facilities, including the 100-year-old, 822-bed Queensgate.

DeWine's proposal called for building a smaller jail and continuing to use the existing facilities - but not requiring a tax increase. DeWine also said he would not support a jail funding proposal by fellow Republican Phil Heimlich.

DeWine's announcement killed - at least for now - Hemlich's proposal that Hamilton County increase its sales tax by a quarter-cent - to 6.75 percent - over 20 years to pay for the jail and fund a property tax reduction over that time.

Leis' letter suggest DeWine wants to form a commission to study the January consultant recommendation for the 1,800-bed jail. "A review commission such as this makes no sense at all; they would not only have the expertise but it would be nothing more than a study upon a study," Leis wrote.

"You are the only person who questions the 1,800-bed facility recommendation, which flies in the face of your own expert."

Leis, who volunteered to be one of the three co-chairs of the campaign to increase the sales tax to pay for a new jail, hasn't returned calls seeking comments on DeWine's proposal - and didn't again this morning.


We'd like to hear from you on what you think about DeWine's proposal & what you think about Sheriff Simon Leis' letter and suggestions.

I have my thoughts on this matter. I will give those thoughts throughtout the course of the conversation where I deem appropriate. But for now we want to hear from you!

I will say this upfront, I couldn't stop laughing at the fact Sheriff Simon Leis called Pat DeWine "backward". I've attended plenty of Cincinnati City council meetings (when DeWine was a council person) and Hamilton County Commissioner meetings over the years and I can honestly say the Sheriff is 100% absolutely correct in his analyses!



The Dean of Cincinnati said...

Anything that puts the breaks on Phil Heimlich can't be all bad...

General Nikki X said...

I agree.