Sometimes phrases are defined by your own interpretation. For example, Scioto County Commissioners Chairman Bryan Davis’ definition of the phrase “shall provide” means “shall provide.” That is the wording Davis said the state uses in funding reimbursement for legal costs for defending indigent defendants.
However, Davis’ definition and the state definition are far apart.
“As of right now we received our notice officially along with our reimbursement that capital cases will receive 50 percent reimbursement – non-capital has gone down to 40 percent,” Davis said. “There is a great amount of angst at the state level for this. The state giveth, the state taketh away, and I’ll stop there.”
Indigent Defense reimbursement for January, 2017 was $30,278.09. The total approved amount was $68,813.85. The state rejected $3,144.
“That’s where they find little quirks and say, ‘no you can’t do that,’” Davis said.
The total submitted was $71,000, and Scioto County got reimbursed for $30,000.
“So for this month they disallowed 10 percent of what we submitted,” Scioto County Commissioner Mike Crabtree said. “Then they reimbursed 40 percent. So to me that’s about they reimbursed 30 percent of 90 percent.”
Davis said the County Commissioners Association of Ohio is fighting the reimbursement levels in Columbus.
“It’s one of our legislative agenda items,” Davis said.
“It is the number one legislative agenda items this year,” Crabtree responded.
According to Section 120.08 of the Ohio Revised code – “The state public defender shall use at least eighty-eight per cent of the money in the fund for the purposes of reimbursing county governments for expenses incurred pursuant to sections 120.18, 120.28, and 120.33 of the Revised Code and operating its system pursuant to division (C)(7) of section 120.04 of the Revised Code and division (B) of section 120.33 of the Revised Code. Disbursements from the fund to county governments shall be made at least once per year and shall be allocated proportionately so that each county receives an equal percentage of its total cost for operating its county public defender system, its joint county public defender system, its county appointed counsel system, or its system operated under division (C)(7) of section 120.04 of the Revised Code and division (B) of section 120.33 of the Revised Code.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.