Elmwood speed cameras debated in court Thursday - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Elmwood speed camera ruling delayed

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ELMWOOD PLACE, OH (FOX19) -

The Elmwood Place speed camera debate was front and center in court Thursday.

The hearing came just three days after the village's mayor Stephanie Morgan resigned.

Bob Schmid is now acting mayor in Elmwood Place. A retired police veteran of more than 30 years, Schmid was appointed earlier this summer to his first role in public office as vice mayor. He would not comment Thursday on the speed camera issue due to the pending litigation.

"This is the first case of this nature that actually got into the system and the whole country is looking at this case," attorney Mike Allen said following the hearing.

It has been a year since the citations started showing up in drivers' mailboxes. While a judge has since ruled that those speed cameras must be stopped the battle to get them back up and running doesn't look to be slowing down any time soon.

"We're already in the Ohio Supreme Court and asking the Ohio Supreme Court to turn the cameras back on," Elmwood Attorney Judd Uhl explained. 

"They've dug their heels in," said Allen, who is representing cited drivers. "We're not going anywhere, we're here to stay. We want to put money back into the pockets of those people that have paid because it's not right."

Judge Robert Ruehlman listened during the morning hearing as attorneys made their case for whether drivers should be able to form a class action lawsuit to get their money back from the cameras.

"This case screams out for class actions status" argued Allen. "We have by our estimates seven to ten thousand potential plaintiffs. They can't go and litigate these cases individually."

"You have thousands of tickets with different scenarios, different circumstances," Uhl countered. "These people don't have a common interest at all."

While attorneys wait for a ruling, FOX19 looked into the villages finances.

"That money is all set aside, that money is right there," Uhl said. "It's sitting there pending the outcome of this lawsuit."

The total village revenue from the citations is $1,056,515. Currently the village has $1.37 million dollars sitting in the bank.

While the village cannot say exactly what the speed camera money has been spent on since budgeted money all goes into one pot, in 2013 one time purchases have included two new furnaces for town hall and a $53,000 dollar cruiser with a license plate reader.

The village anticipates having $738,114 as its beginning bank balance in 2014. 

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