October 22, 2014

Elyria
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County can’t collect from victims’ fund

ELYRIA — Victims of crime in Ohio can collect up to $50,000 for injury, loss of work or counseling.

But when the victim is the county, counting those zeroes may be a little premature.

Legg

The county prosecutor’s office sent the Lorain County commissioners a victim impact questionnaire after a man broke a door in the Justice Center while attempting to flee authorities. Alexander Legg Sr., 34, is charged with vandalism and resisting arrest for the incident.

But the county won’t be able to collect the money, a state official said.

While the crime involved violence, a stipulation under the law, only individuals can collect money, according to Michelle Gatchelle of the office of Ohio Attorney General Mark Dann.

Legg allegedly broke the swinging door in the courtroom of Domestic Relations Judge David Basinski in July after the judge sentenced Legg to 90 days in the county jail for not paying child support.

“I gave him the sentence, and he kind of stood there and then wheeled around to the left, broke that door and ran with my bailiff and deputy sheriff behind him,” Basinski said.

The door still hasn’t been fixed, Basinski said.

Legg pleaded not guilty to the charges at his arraignment Thursday. His case was assigned to Common Pleas Judge James Burge.If he is convicted and sentenced to probation, restitution could be part of the terms.

Contact Cindy Leise at 329-7245 or cleise@chroniclet.com.