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Questions for Baxter

Matt Westerhold • Mar 23, 2010 at 6:28 PM

Dear Kevin:

Thank you for agreeing to review and answer our questions about inaccuracies in the Murman statements attributed to you. We talked with a number of participants who were not interviewed by the Murman investigators, and, after reviewing your statement, the Murman report, the Nuesse response, the Darden report and other documentation, we compiled these questions for you.

Baxter statement

• “The U.S. Attorney, unaware of the chief’s failure to coordinate with local officials, cooperated to a point by opening investigations.” Were these DEA, or DEA-related cases? Please detail local cases on file with U.S. attorney since Aug. 1, 2006, and provide case and report numbers and any available documentation.

• Did the U.S. Marshal’s office invite all local law enforcement agencies to participate in Operation Falcon? Is this fugitive roundup a “wasteful and disruptive stunt,” as described in the Murman report? Which agencies chose to participate? Please explain.

• In your statement you say McClung and Nuesse “both wanted to disband the drug task force.” Did other police chiefs express similar thoughts or support for this position, or come to support this position? Please explain.

• Are there corrections to the statement timeline on task force tax initiative, election, support for drug task force, closed-door meetings, when officers were pulled from task force, etc.? Please explain.

• Murman statement indicates you complained that Nuesse “started taking many cases to the U.S. attorney.” Were these DEA-related cases? Please explain and provide details and reports of each case.

• Specifically, about the McGovern “child abuse” case: Were errors discovered in how the arrest warrant was issued, coded or otherwise created or errors with the warrant radius status? Where did these errors, if any, originate? The child’s mother reported the rapes in August. McGovern, a truck driver from California, eluded Huron police when they tried to question him. Federal marshals arrested McGovern in December after requesting the warrant radius be corrected. What, if anything, does this case have to do with the Nuesse probe? Please address concerns about timeline, problems with the warrant, and the sheriff office’s failure to attempt to serve it.

• Please provide information, details and reports of second rape suspect involving a (about) 13-year-old victim where charges were dropped in 2007 when the suspect was located about two years after warrant issued.

• In Murman statement you recall both the (1) U.S. attorney meeting and the (2) meeting with school officials as “educations” for Chief Nuesse. This point, others in your statement, and your general descriptions of these two meetings differ from recollections of the other meeting participants. Please explain.

• In Murman statement you said Nuesse “should have” brought any gang concerns to your attention. Is that required by statute? Please explain. Did she attempt to do this without success or feedback from your office? Was she referred to Barlyski and did Barlyski return her calls? Please explain.

• You describe Barylski as the local “gang expert.” Please provide documents and information on credentials related to her proficiency. Please also provide approximate number of cases, with case numbers, during the past five years that included gang specification charges.

• You state you had not “heard back” from Nuesse about the drug forfeiture fund. Didn’t the police chiefs, through the Firelands chiefs association, resolve this rather quickly with a framework for distribution prior to Nuesse’s suspension? Was it finalized shortly thereafter? Current status of drug forfeiture funds? Was it Chief Nuesse who pushed for distribution of these funds initially? Please explain.

• “Baxter was of the opinion Chief Nuesse, rarely, if ever got input from other city or county government officials before she acted and as a result she has made numerous questionable decisions.” Please provide detailed list of questionable Nuesse decisions, and any impact or potential impact these decisions had. Nuesse, and others, have said the department accomplished several outreach goals in the past two years, including improved relations with schools and school officials, local religious leaders and church members, other police chiefs, and state and federal law enforcement agencies in addition to minority groups. Have there been improvements along these lines, and, if so, how does that square with your statement?

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