Cuyahoga County Council will vote Tuesday on adding a consumer agency to the department

CLEVELAND - The Cuyahoga County government is considering adding a consumer agency to the weights and measures division.

The agency would educate and warn the public on consumer issues, trends, and patterns and take calls from those who are having issues. It's a first for the biggest county in the state of Ohio. Many other counties already have a consumer division.

The county expects the new department would cost about $200,000 a year.

"We have people out there doing inspections at gas stations. We have people doing inspections at places that serve food. We already have the infrastructure," County Executive Ed Fitzgerald said.

The county would add a few new employees, but mostly refocus and retrain current employees. A weights and measures employee was accused of faking inspection reports in August .

In response to that issue and others with the department, Fitzgerald said, "We also didn't have the greatest employees all the time in Weights & Measures. We had to terminate a few of them. When Frank Russo was running the Auditor's Office, they were committing consumer fraud rather than preventing it. We will have a whole different culture change and mindset about what our role is here now. We will have employees a little more motivated in a positive way to help consumers."

The county council will vote on the new department on Tuesday.

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