City not paying jail fees to county

CASH, AR (KAIT) - The city of Cash has been collecting large amounts of revenue from speeding citations.

Mayor Michael Cureton said in the past year, the town has collected over $100,000.

However, the city is not paying jail fees associated with these citations.

When a police officer in Craighead County makes an arrest, arrestees are taken to the detention center.
Local towns pay a fee for each person they have booked into jail, however, in the past five years, Cash has not paid those fees.

"Dealing with Cash is something we definitely need to sit down and try to get worked out," said Craighead County Sheriff Marty Boyd.

Boyd and Cureton say the unpaid fees are the result of a difference in opinion on what is owed to the sheriff's office and where inmates belong.

The county believes that any person arrested for a misdemeanor crime or a city ordinance that comes into custody is the responsibility of that municipality, period," said Boyd. "The municipalities believe that once that person is adjudicated in court they then turn to a county inmate."

Mayor Cureton says Cash is not the only city not paying the fees.

"Well we haven't paid, and it's that way in all the cities, not just Cash," said Cureton.  "We just started putting people in jail recently, we're new to it."

However, documents obtained by Region 8 News from the county treasurer revealed that Cash is the only town to pay nothing to the sheriff's office.

Sheriff Boyd says currently a Region 8 lawsuit could provide some clarity to the issue once it is settled.

The lawsuit out of Mississippi County alleges that Blytheville owes the county $100,000 in jail fees.

Boyd said how this suit is settled could have an effect on many Arkansas counties, but until it is settled or state legislation changes, the county will be dealing with the issue.

"Where it does, can come into effect is when we go for a budget meeting and start planning, which is coming up the end of this month, how much do we budget for this next year," said Boyd.

Cureton says while the town has not yet paid the office, they do have money set aside for future payment.

"We've got funding setback and when that's determined, then we'll have enough to pay," he said  "We got the full amount set back right now waiting to see how much we actually owe because it's going to be a lesser amount, we know that and the sheriff's office knows that."

Cureton did say the town had paid court fees associated with the tickets, adding they would wait to pay jail fees until the issue is resolved.

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