Leis wins jail tax suit
Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis won a county lawsuit filed against him in connection with the jail tax campaign last year. Leis was sued last year by anti-sales tax advocate Brian Shrive. Shrive alleged Leis supported construction of the new jail and “improperly and/or illegally used county property, resources and funds to such end.”
Specifically, Leis publicly supported the jail, provided a letter to his workers asking them to support the tax and displayed “Support the New Jail” signs on sheriff’s equipment during the Harvest Home Parade.
Common Pleas Judge Norbert Nadel ruled in Leis’ favor. In his opinion he said Ohio law “clearly permitted Leis to advocate in favor of the jail tax levy.” Law allows elected officials to sponsor "public service advertising" and the jail is “clearly germane to Sheriff Leis’ official function as sheriff of Hamilton County.” Nadel also noted that the complaint does not include specifics relating to the public funds spent by the sheriff, so he did not address the request that the sheriff pay those costs back. Nadel dismissed the case.