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Port Clinton officials threatened

Melissa Topey • Mar 10, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Port Clinton police refuse to release copies of explicit letters sent to five city council members late last month.   

The letters were sent to council in regular mail, which made the documents a public record well before the police ever began investigating.  

Still, Port Clinton police Chief Rob Hickman said he has no plans to release the letters, at least not until he's done investigating. 


Get the e*Paper or buy the Sunay Register at a newsstand near you for more reaction from council members and to find out how police are moving forward with the investigation.  


Councilwoman Kathleen Mehl said she hasn't read the letters, but council president Linda Hartlaub did read one of them. 

At a Feb. 26 council meeting, councilman Mike Snyder arrived to find a letter on his desk. The handwriting on the envelope was shoddy, and at first he thought it was from a child. Inside he found a three-paragraph letter printed off a computer, and quickly realized the content wasn't so childlike.

“I read the first line and stopped,” councilman Snyder said. “It was sexually explicit in nature. To get this letter is disturbing.”

The letter demanded the resignation of a particular council member, whom Snyder and Hartlaub refused to identify. It also contained rants and derogatory remarks expressing displeasure at council and elected officials, Port Clinton police Detective Corbin Carpenter said. 

Snyder found four more letters waiting for longtime council members Mark Coppeler, Randy Lipstraw, Kathleen Mehl and Deb Benko. There are seven council members, plus council president Hartlaub.

Snyder collected the letters and informed Hartlaub and Mayor Vince Leone. In turn, they contacted Port Clinton police.

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