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Kasich, FitzGerald duck tough questions

Sandusky Register Staff • Jun 2, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Who speaks for the governor? 

Rob Nichols, according to Gov. John Kasich's campaign. 

"Rob and I serve as the governor's spokespeople for the official office and the campaign, respectively," Kasich campaign spokeswoman Connie Wehrkamp told the Register Friday morning. "Rob's response is the governor's response."

But Nichols provided little comment when asked about a petition to the governor requesting him to invoke state law that gives him the power to remove county sheriffs and county prosecutors from office for official misconduct.

Nichols said elections were the proper process to remove public officials, declining comment on what the purpose might be for the statute that empowers the governor to take action.   

Kasich did not offer any comment, and Nichols declined to say whether the governor had reviewed the information families that support the petition have provided.

Wehrkamp deferred to Nichols. 

"Rob has spoken to the paper about all of this," she said.

But Nichols did not address the questions asked of the governor about the petition and the families.

About 1,300 people have signed the petition. The Justice for Jake & Ella group, which has expanded to include other families impacted by decisions in Sandusky County, has nearly 20,000 followers at its Facebook page. 

Read the petition

Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald also ducked comment about the grand jury hearings currently underway in Sandusky County in the 2007 death of Craig Burdine, and the allegations from other families that county law enforcement officials mishandled criminal investigations. The Burdine family contends Craig Burdine was the victim of a homicide and law enforcement officials covered up what occurred.

The family also fears DeWine is limiting what gets presented to the grand jury because he wants to avoid criminal indictments. DeWine has not called any of the forensic pathologists who reviewed the death, or responded to questions about a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that appears to require a deadly force investigation be conducted if Tasers are used on a handcuffed person, which is what happened to Burdine just moments before he died. 

FitzGerald spokeswoman Lauren Hitt told the Register earlier today the Democratic candidate for governor was declining comment. She did not say whether FitzGerald had reviewed the information about the families that was sent to him. 

The Register has reported the difficulties numerous families have experienced with Sandusky County officials and has discussed those concerns with Attorney General Mike DeWine in detail, asking questions families have raised.

DeWine said he would look at the concerns further and review the Ohio Revised Code to determine what action the attorney general's office was authorized to consider. 

But DeWine has not followed up or offered further comment.

The Kasich and FItzGerald campaigns also were provided the same information with the most recent requests made to both men for comment.

Click on the links below to read more. 

• Death of Lee Naus

• Isabel Cordle

• Trooper's sex lesson

• Stabbed, beaten burned & zapped

• Bryan Jones

• Limberios shooting saga

• Craig Burdine

• Sexploited jail inmate

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