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DeWine asks for help

Register • May 25, 2014 at 7:55 PM

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine  has asked the Ohio Ethics Commission to review the alleged tampering with city computers that contained sensitive information possibly related to the estimated $36 million in cost overruns that occurred during construction of the Fremont Reservoir. 

"The Sandusky County Prosecutor remains the felony prosecutor for this matter,"  attorney general prosecutor Matt Donahue wrote to the Ethics Commission on May 22. "We will maintain this matter as an open file."

Read Donahue's letter

Donahue wrote the Ethics Commission just days after the Register inquired about the status of the investigation. 

DeWine was made aware of the problem in early 2013 but he's refused to provide any status updates or any other information about his investigation since agreeing to review the alleged tampering earlier this year. 

The computers were used by former mayor Terry Overmyer and two other city workers who assisted in the development of the Fremont Reservoir project. The project's original construction cost estimate was about $9 million, but it ended up costing about $45 million to build.

The excess cost has been added to fees water customers in Fremont pay.

DeWine has refused to say whether his office will be reviewing how the final cost became five times the original estimate, or whether anything other than the alleged tampering with the computers will be reviewed by his office, the Sandusky County prosecutor's office or anyone else.

The city paid about $9,000 to restore the information that was in the three computers.

Law director Jim Melle, and Mayor Jim Ellis also have refused to provide information. 

Sandusky County Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt generally does not respond to inquiries from the public. 

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