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Facing Shortfall, County Blames Sheriff

By Kevin Osborne · April 25th, 2012 · City Desk

Republicans control most functions of Hamilton County government. Despite the dominance, however, county commissioners say mid-year budget cuts totaling $4.78 million might have to be made because several departments — led by the Sheriff’s Office — are over-budget so far.

Budget Director John P. Bruggen told commissioners April 23 that several departments have expenditures that exceed what was allocated. Besides the Sheriff’s Office, they include the Juvenile Court, Prosecutor’s Office, Clerk of Courts and the Board of Elections.

Bruggen’s memo indicates that the Sheriff’s Office is primarily responsible for the situation.

“This is almost entirely a result of a revenue shortfall from township patrols,” he writes.

Until this month, Sheriff Simon Leis Jr. had been providing free patrols to many townships in the county for years. Commissioners told Leis to require townships to pay for the patrols or cut them.

Although Leis cut patrols in Colerain and Green townships, they are continuing in Anderson, Crosby, Harrison, Sycamore and Whitewater townships until 2015. The sheriff wanted to give those townships more time to find money to pay for patrols.

Of the $4.78 million shortfall, Bruggen attributed $4.7 million to the Sheriff’s Office. Leis, a Republican, isn’t seeking reelection this fall.

Other shortfalls include $664,000 in the Juvenile Court, $478,000 in the Prosecutor’s Office and $477,000 in the Clerk of Courts Office — all due to personnel costs.

“The county budget staff will monitor spending closely and make recommendations for mid-year adjustments should 2012 expenditures and revenues improve or worsen,” Bruggen wrote.



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