Smoking Violation Fees Owed: WTOL 11 Special Report - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports


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Smoking Violation Fees Owed: WTOL 11 Special Report

(Toledo News Now) -

You already know that technically - smoking's not allowed in public establishments in Ohio.

That - thanks to the decision by Ohio Voters to approve "Issue 5," the state's first "Smoke Free Workplace Act." Read more about it right here.

Six years later, it's still drawing heat from all sides.

The decision meant adding "No Smoking" stickers in many public places... but here we are in 2013, and the sticker warnings just aren't cutting it. In many places in Toledo, lighting up at the bar is still considered totally acceptable. 

So much so that many store owners are racking up fines & fees for the outlawed practice... but still allowing people to smoke.

It gets better. If you click on the blue dots on the interactive map, you can see several public establishments that still owe tens of thousands of dollars.

Records show, Delaney's Lounge owes more than $54,000 dollars for failing to comply with the law. (Editor's note: The fines from Bill Delaney's bar are the responsibility of the former owners, and not the responsibility of the bar's current owners.)

That fine sits second to the county's leading violator, Rip Cord.

They stand to lose nearly $60,000 from outstanding fines - and possibly more. 

In 2010, the State Attorney General's Office filed an injunction against the bar in an attempt to get compliance and payment. The case is still being decided in Lucas County Court of Common Pleas.

Lucas County has investigated close to 2,000 smoking complaints since 2007.

It's issued more than $300,000 in fines.

But it's only pocketed $9,300 of that amount. You read that right.

And last year, it received only one payment of a measly $90.

Lucas County Deputy Health Commissioner Larry Vasko remains confident the fines will be paid but admits the process is slow.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All Rights Reserved.

This story will air in its entirety again on Wednesday February 6th, at 6pm.

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