A Sedgwick County District Court judge ruled today that the county has the right to charge cities a fee for housing inmates in its jail on municipal charges.
“We’re pleased with the ruling and believe it validates our position to bill the cities to house their prisoners,” county manager William Buchanan said in a news release.
The county began charging cities an hourly fee in 2008. Several cities, including Wichita, refused to pay.
The county recently settled with Goddard and Park City.
City of Wichita attorney Gary Rebenstorf said the city was disappointed by the ruling.
“The court’s ruling is a change from the preliminary decision that was highly favorable to the city. The city attorney’s office is reviewing the court ruling and will advise the city council regarding the city’s legal options,” Rebenstorf said in a news release.
County commissioner Karl Peterjohn said he hoped the next step of the case — determining how much money the cities owe — would move quickly.
Read more in Friday’s Eagle.