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Thanks for nothing

Matt Westerhold • May 5, 2014 at 8:10 AM

Like a prizefighter throwing a fight, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine will take a fall this week when his office presents evidence to a grand jury in the death of Craig Burdine at the Sandusky County Jail in 2007.

It will be the third grand jury presentation in Sandusky County for DeWine during his first term as attorney general. And it will be the third one in which DeWine's prosecutors present selected information to grand jurors to get the result they want: A finding of no wrongdoing.

DeWine just wants to get the hell out of Sandusky County.

His prosecutors and investigators don't care a whit about what happened to Craig Burdine, or what happened to his family or the families of more than a half-dozen other victims at the hands of a law enforcement community in Sandusky County with incompetent leadership that some residents have called corrupt.

DeWine has become part of the problem.

His prosecutors tipped their hand and telegraphed their intentions right from the start after DeWine agreed in August to conduct a criminal investigation.

And they're following the same path Fremont police and the sheriff went down all those years ago: They're ignoring the victim and protecting law enforcement.

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Move along, nothing to see here.

The Fremont police and the Sandusky County Sheriff never conducted a criminal investigation after Craig Burdine died, although it appears they pretended to do that.

It took Jess Burdine six years to finally get a criminal investigation into what he says is the obvious and overwhelming evidence a jail guard caused his son's death and police, the sheriff and jail officials conspired to cover it up.

It's difficult to disagree with that conclusion given the information Jess Burdine and his family were able to collect and present to DeWine. The Fremont police and the sheriff have yet to give any plausible explanations for the multiple mistakes made when Craig Burdine was arrested Aug. 11, 2007.

How dare the Burdines, and the other families, even ask, is the attitude they've shown.

But there are too many mistakes and too many inconsistencies to list. The singular fact they refused to conduct a legitimate investigation after Burdine died at the jail after being dragged inside already suffering massive injuries, seems to be all the indication of intention needed.

The police officers and jail guards involved all said Burdine was being combative, but surveillance video shows he was barely conscious.

Sheriff's Capt. Sean O'Connell said he conducted a “thorough investigation” after Burdine died, but he didn't.

He told Jess Burdine, Craig's father, he would get to the bottom of it, but he wouldn't.

Lucas County deputy coroner Cynthia Beisser ruled Craig Burdine died a sudden death at his own hand, but he didn't.

DeWine's spokesman Dan Teirney said a civil lawsuit that was dismissed showed it would be difficult to prove any criminal charges, but it doesn't.

After DeWine took over his lead prosecutor, Matt Donahue, told the Burdine family the statutes of limitations would make it difficult to press criminal charges, but they don't.

Donahue told Jess Burdine he waited too long to ask for an investigation, but Jess has been asking for one from the very start. He's been asking for one for more than six years.

DeWine said he would conduct a legitimate criminal investigation, but he hasn't.

The grand jury is only going to hear what DeWine and Donahue want it to hear, and grand jurors won't return any indictments.

Jess Burdine and his family, and the families of so many other victims won't get justice from the Ohio Attorney General.

They might never get justice.

Hello, U.S. Justice Department?


The Register has reported the difficulties numerous families have experienced with Sandusky County officials and has discussed those concerns with Attorney General DeWine in detail, asking questions families have raised. Click on the links below to read more. 

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