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Ohio high court keeps open payday lender loophole
Other headlines: Traffic camera case pits home-rule against due-process; Giorgio testifies for second day in Suarez trial

Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
  • Traffic camera case pits home-rule against due-process
  • Giorgio testifies for second day in Suarez trial
  • Plane lands on Sandusky beach after hitting duck
  • Body found in tree near Beachwood elementary school
  • Ohio high court keeps open payday lender loophole
    In a victory for payday lenders, the Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that a two-week loan to an Elyria man that imposed more than 235-percent interest is not prohibited under Ohio's mortgage lending laws.

    In a unanimous decision today, the court sent Rodney Scott's case against the owner of Cashland stores back to the trial court.

    The high-stakes case was closely watched by both lenders and consumer groups.

    The ruling leaves open a lending loophole that allows payday loans to continue as interest-bearing mortgage loans despite a proposed crackdown on predatory lending passed by Ohio lawmakers in 2008.

    A lower court ruled lawmakers had intended the  law to prohibit payday loans. Justices ruled today that the law does not have that effect.

    Justice Paul Pfeifer calls the law “smoke and mirrors” and criticized lawmakers for drafting an exemption such that -- “not a single lender in Ohio is subject to the law.”

    Traffic camera case pits home-rule against due-process
    Ohio Supreme Court justices will decide whether traffic camera systems are improperly bypassing courts.

    Justices this morning quizzed Toledo law director Adam Loukx about how ticketed motorists can appeal their citations.

    Loukx says they can appeal tickets to an appeals court, a key issue in a case that focuses on whether cities with traffic cameras are improperly bypassing the judicial system by handling camera-generated speeding and red-light tickets through administrative procedures.

    Loukx says the Ohio Constitution Ohio has been around almost 100 years, "and a principle part of that Constitution is the home-rule authority of a city to self-govern. And a principle part of self-government, we submit, is the ability to set-up administrative appeal boards to have quasi-judicial hearings on matters of local controversy.”

    A ticketed motorist's lawsuit claimed Toledo's system violates drivers' constitutional due-process rights and usurps the courts. Critics say cameras are aimed at increasing revenues more than safety.

    Last week, the California Supreme Court rejected a challenge to red-light cameras. The Illinois Supreme Court recently heard arguments about traffic cameras, and Missouri's high court has agreed to hear arguments.


    Giorgio testifies for second day in Suarez trial
    The former chief financial officer for a northeast Ohio telemarketing company is testifying for a second day against his former boss in a federal trial about illegal campaign contributions.

    Michael Giorgio is testifying today in Cleveland about helping Ben Suarez of Suarez Corporation Industries in North Canton collect donations from employees and Suarez family members.

    The donations went to the 2012 campaigns of U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci and the failed U.S. Senate bid of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel.

    Those who donated were quickly reimbursed by the company, a violation of federal campaign laws.

    Giorgio was originally indicted along with Suarez.

    Giorgio pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and other charges last month and agreed to testify against Suarez in return for a reduced prison sentence.

    Plane lands on Sandusky beach after hitting duck
    A pilot made an emergency on a beach that runs alongside Cedar Point amusement park in northern Ohio.

    Troopers tell The Sandusky Register that the single-engine plane landed on the Lake Erie beach not far from the park's 200-foot tall Magnum roller coaster.

    The State Highway Patrol says the plane hit a duck Tuesday afternoon, cracking the plane's windshield and forcing the pilot to bring it down.

    The pilot wasn't injured, and the plane didn't sustain any other damage.

    Body found in tree near Beachwood elementary school
    Authorities say a body was found this morning hanging in a tree outside a Cleveland area elementary school.

    School administrators discovered the body of a man this morning before students had arrived at Hilltop Elementary School in Beachwood.

    A school official says the man didn't have any connection with the elementary school.

    Classes at the school have been canceled for the day.

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