When the Ohio General Assembly makes changes to the Ohio Revised Code, cities like Shaker Heights make their own amendments to keep in step.
At its most recent meeting, City Council passed its annual ordinance amending its codified ordinances in accord to changes in State law. The changes are to the the General Offenses and Traffic Codes sections.
The amendments include the ability to aggregate a series of theft charges and their value in order to increase the seriousness or severity of an offense. The city will now also allow pre-trial diversion programs for shoplifting offenses. The city has also adopted the recent, looser version of the state's concealed carry law.
"The reason that we track state law is because if a person is charged under a city ordinance and found guilty, the fine goes to the city, (but) if the city charges them under state law, the fine goes to the state," Law Director Bill Gruber said. "Rather than spending money to redo our ordinances constantly, we do it once a year."
The Walter A. Drane Company, which publishes the codified ordinances of Shaker and many other cities, provided the city with proposed changes in one package.
"(With regard to some laws) we could enforce something different, but it's confusing for the police officer, often, and the prosecutor," Gruber said. "So, it makes sense to continue to follow the state law."
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