CINCINNATI (TDB) -- An e-mail from Todd Portune says the clerk's office appears to have stalled collections and and mishandled procedures for collecting millions of dollars in forfeited bail bonds. Portune wants Sheriff Simon Leis's office to take an active role in efforts to find out what has gone wrong. Portune said the bail bond scandal involves "potential violations of regulation, policy or law . . ." and had been the subject of a review by county officials in 2009. The Daily Bellwether has a copy of the e-mail, which was sent to Republican Clerk of Courts Patricia M. Clancy, whose office is responsible for collecting and issuing bail bonds:
Last September 2009 Kathy Binns and I met with you and John Williams to discuss several irregularities in connection with bail bondsmen and uncollected forfeited bonds in . You recall we shared with you the results of an investigation we had conducted with the help of others. In light of severe county budget concerns and also potential violations of regulation, policy or law, we wanted to make certain the matter was addressed.
You and John Williams assured us that the matter was being addressed and that your office was on top of the matter along with the ’s office. It has come to my attention that matters may still be very much amiss with forfeited bonds not collected along with certain other practices that are either wrong or unlawful being conducted.
I am writing to you for the purpose of asking that we meet to discuss these matters and the efforts to put an end to the practices; to pursue those who may be engaged in wrongful practices; and to collect all moneys due Hamilton County. In particular I would like to know what the prospects are of collecting on amounts due in time to utilize sums in connection with Hamilton County ’s 2011 budget or to disburse to such other parties or political jurisdictions that are entitled to receive a percentage share of the same.
Unlike our previous meeting I believe it will be important to also have the assistance of proper representatives from the Sheriff and Prosecutor’s office to discuss the status as well as the county’s options in this matter.
Thank you for your assistance in connection with this important issue.
Sincerely yours, "
President of the Board