Look what your tax dollars are paying for Jefferson County.
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio —
Jefferson County will have to pay the bill for a private investigator working for a defendant accused in a Steubenville teen rape case.
Earlier this week, Judge Thomas Lipps approved up to $2,500 as well as any travel expensed for the private investigator in connection with the high-profile case.
The decision was one of several rulings the judge made with regard to the case, in which two Steubenville High School student-athletes are accused of raping another teenager.
Chief Probation Officer Fred Abdalla Jr. said the money will be coming out of the Juvenile Court’s general fund, specifically the line for indigent appointed counsel.
Indigent means the defendant can’t afford the bill.
Abdalla said this is not unusual and all juveniles are declared indigent by the court.
County Commissioner Tom Graham said the county always sets aside money for cases of this nature.”We usually spend somewhere between $30,000-$50,000 — a lot of money in regard to indigent cases a month,” Jefferson County Commissioner Tom Graham said. “Sometimes, in this case, it won’t be that, but certainly a small amount. But every individual case is different if they’re indigent, and that’s the law. So taxpayers are obligated to pay for it for those who cannot afford it.”
Since the money is coming from the county, technically it is taxpayer dollars. However, Abdalla and Graham said they will forward the bill to the Ohio State Public Defender’s Office to get reimbursed up to 35 percent.
Abdalla said the defense could ask the court for more money, but an additional hearing would have to be held in front of the judge and they would have to explain why it’s necessary.
On Saturday, another Occupy Steubenville rally will be held at noon in front of the Jefferson County Courthouse with regard to the case.