Magistrate listened to arguments over robo-camera tickets

ELMWOOD PLACE, Ohio - Paul Hogan's name was listed third on the docket.

On Saturday, he waited for his name to be called inside a packed courtroom at the Elmwood Place Village Hall. Hogan received a speeding ticket in September after a driver for his company, Contemporary Cabinetry East, was ticketed by a robo-camera for driving 25 miles per hour in company vehicle.

The speed limit in that part of town is 20 miles per hour. The ticket was $105.

Hogan expressed his frustration before Village Police Chief William Peskin.

"It's my opinion that this is nothing more than a shakedown on the individuals like myself and companies in Hamilton County by the village. In my opinion, you should all be ashamed of yourself," Hogan said.

The room erupted in applause which was quelled by Peskin.

"This is your last warning," he said. "You will be escorted out if you continue with this behavior."

Magistrate Massimino Ionna found Hogan liable and ordered him to pay the ticket along with a $25 administrative review hearing fee.

Ionna heard dozens of cases on Saturday finding many of the drivers liable.

"I'm going to pay but I'm going to tell you it's a sham!" Robert Katchmazenski said.

Attorney Mike Allen spoke on behalf of his clients who were not ready to pay. He is currently representing 250 drivers who were issued tickets.

"The ordinance itself wasn't properly publicized. There are laws that state you have to have it published for a certain amount of time, it wasn't," Allen said. "The signage within the village telling people about the speed trap, that was not adequate. The administrative fee was enacted after they started issuing the tickets, that's unconstitutional, that's illegal. We're going to fight for our clients to make sure they are not assessed a penalty and the practice stops."

Allen's clients will have their cases heard on Dec. 17.

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