Unlicensed solicitors in Bath Township can again be cited and told to leave town, officials said.
Summit County Council has approved an amendment to the solicitation laws to add a criminal penalty for transient vendors who fail to license with the Office of Consumer Affairs in Summit County.
"While Bath encourages the legitimate sale of goods and services, many people in Summit County fall victim to some vendors who aren't quite legitimate." Township Administrator Vito Sinopoli said.
Until the county council amended the ordinance Sept. 30, police in Bath and other townships were unable to prosecute vendors to failed to register.
Vendors wanting to sell magazines or home improvement services door-to-door are required to get a permit first. They must pay a fee and undergo a background check.
But the Akron prosecutor's office recently issued an opinion on the law that notes the only penalty for violating the law is a civil one.
"That means you have to file a lawsuit to enforce it," Sinopoli said.
That left Bath police unable to do more than warn an unlicensed solicitor and check to see if he had outstanding warrants.
Sinopoli addressed the county council, seeking an amendment to re-instate criminal penalties.
"Our police department frequently responds to resident concerns regarding groups that solicit for magazine sales. For many, once the sale is finalized, they never receive their purchase," he said.
The amendment received unanimous support from the representatives of the
nine Summit County townships.