Corporation Counsel takes on issue of jailtime for code violation in City of Lockport

The decision to amend Chapter 66 of the Lockport City Code Building Construction Administration passed unanimously at Wednesday nights Common Council meeting. 

Section 66-15 (C) ‘Penalties for Offenses’ softened its approach to punishment for offenders by dropping the maximum fine per violation from $500.00 to $250.00, and the maximum jailtime from 30 days to 15 days.

Local resident Russel Brunning stepped forward before the vote; stating, “But didn’t you say it wasn’t a crime?”  He continued, “If it’s not a crime, then why would I you have to spend any time in jail?  To me, that’s a crime.”

David Haylett, Corporation Counsel; explained, “Up to 15 days in jail is allowed by State law for a violation.”

Brunning specified, “Well isn’t that something you can change or the Common Council as a whole?”  Additionally, he concluded, “I realize that you don’t have to send people to jail, but why even put it in there?”

Haylett was direct, “Well, there might be an instance where the prosecutor wants to ask a judge for jailtime.”

Common Council meets Wednesday night.

It is important to note that code violations cover a wide variety of offenses.  The distinctions between one another, is at times, notable. 

A violation for not putting in the proper amount of energy efficient lighting compared to something like a butcher shop with no operating permit from your basement, or the difference between; say, not having the proper style thermostat compared to inefficiently insulating a residential apartment building.