Ohio man, city battle over $95 speeding ticket
CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio man’s lengthy court battle with an affluent Cincinnati suburb over a $95 speeding ticket has cost him $2,600 and counting.
Keith Ledgerwood, 29, of Maineville, admits he has a lead foot, but has somehow managed to talk his way out of speeding tickets for years.
Up until February of last year that is, when Ledgerwood got a ticket for driving 54 mph in a 35 mph-zone in Indian Hill, a well-to-do city of 5,700 people a few miles northeast of Cincinnati.
The ticket kicked off a legal fight that has seen Ledgerwood’s case dismissed and reinstated three times. It’s now the subject of an appeal and could be headed for the Ohio Supreme Court.
Ledgerwood told The Cincinnati Enquirer that Indian Hill has been harassing him ever since he got a judge to dismiss the case when the officer who pulled him over didn’t show up in court.
“This is a big miscarriage of process and justice,” said Ledgerwood, an information-technology consultant. “Something crazy has happened here.”
Indian Hill prosecutors, administrators and police say that Ledgerwood should just pay the $95 fine and stop seeking special treatment.
“He is a chronic speeder who has the uncanny ability to get out of speeding tickets,” Benjamin Yoder, the Indian Hill assistant law director, said. “Somebody is going to get hurt.”
Ledgerwood has been stopped for speeding seven times in Hamilton County since 2004, and many of those charges have been reduced or dismissed, leaving Ledgerwood with a relatively clean driving record.
While Ledgerwood has won several dismissals of his case, Indian hill has been winning their appeals of those decisions.
Most recently, the city won an appeal of the ticket’s dismissal to the 1st District Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, which ruled that Indian Hill hadn’t violated a deadline to push the case.
Ledgerwood is appealing that decision to the Ohio Supreme Court, which he expects will cost him $4,000. That’s on top of the $2,600 he’s already spent on the case.
On the city’s part, Yoder said that about 30 to 40 hours have been spent fighting Ledgerwood; Indian Hill pays a private law firm $4,000 a month to serve as its prosecutors.
“We only have a very few of these appeals and for purposes of public safety, we decided to appeal,” said Don Crain, Indian Hill’s law director.
“We feel obligated to support the officers,” he said, defending the city’s decision to pursue the $95 ticket cost. “What would your solution be? Just to let this guy off the hook again?”
Ledgerwood has admitted that he was speeding, but now it’s far more important to Ledgerwood — and to Indian Hill, Ledgerwood said — than just a speeding ticket.
“They made it clear to me walking out of the courtroom that they were not going to let this go,” Ledgerwood said. “I feel like there’s something fundamentally wrong, trying to get around the rules. This is wrong.”
The reissued speeding ticket has been assigned to another judge and is set to be in court July 9.