Saturday, May 22, 1999

Kenton winnows 'wanted' warrants

Old traffic tickets won't be pursued

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Never paid that speeding ticket you got on Interstate 75 in Northern Kentucky a few years ago? You may not be a wanted person much longer.

        A team of police officers and prosecutors is sorting through Kenton County's mushrooming list of outstanding arrest warrants and resorting to the ultimate clean-up method: throwing some out.

        The county's list has ballooned to more than 10,000. It seeks people for everything from writing a bad check at a grocery store years ago to felony offenses such as rape and burglary.

        The felonies won't be thrown out. Neither will any DUIs, sex offenses, failures to pay child support or domestic violence arrests.

        Still, team members from the county attorney's office, sheriff's office and county police department think they might be able to weed out as many as 1,500 to 2,000.

        Many are expected to be for bad-check writers and I-75 speeders who live in Ohio and other neighboring states. Kentucky law prohibits police officers from going after scofflaws in other states on misdemeanors such as those.

        “So many of them, for instance, are things like failure to show up to pay a fine,” said Sheriff Chuck Korzenborn. “We can't go to Wisconsin to get them.”

        The purging, they hope, will help make the county's list more realistic and manageable. But more warrants are issued every day, sometimes 30 or so out of one court hearing, said Bill Crockett, chief prosecutor in Kenton District Court.

        Many of the warrants in the system are problematic for police officers because they don't list enough identification for the wanted person.


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