The city of Cleveland is stepping up its response to people who illegally dump large amounts of trash on abandoned properties and inside empty buildings.
In the past, people accused of illegal dumping have been charged with misdemeanor counts -- but now the city will seek felony indictments from a county grand jury. For offenders, that could mean tens of thousands of dollars in fines, and as many as four years in prison.
Mayor Frank Jackson says the city pays for cleanup and often has trouble catching illegal dumpers.
“Normally we just clean it up because we can’t find the person who dumps, or it happens in the middle of the night, or they’ll put mud on their license plates," Jackson said.
But he says the city will be stepping up its efforts to catch people, and already an indictment has been handed down. City officials accuse William Daniels of stuffing an empty factory with garbage on the city’s east side. He is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 10.
ideastream has been unable yet to reach Daniels for comment.