Text of special counsel's letter

Text of a letter obtained by the Register from special counsel William Lang to Don Icsman, law director, city of Sandusky, regarding
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

Text of a letter obtained by the Register from special counsel William Lang to Don Icsman, law director, city of Sandusky, regarding the investigation of the death of Mufaro Young:

Don:

You asked me to review in my capacity as special counsel retained as a legal consultant on designated matters the request submitted by William Young, Jr., to investigate the actions of Sandusky Fire Department personnel in responding to the 9-1-1 call and the medical emergency involving Mr. Young's son, Mufaro.

It is my opinion that it would be a conflict of interest or perceived to be a conflict of interest if the Sandusky Police Department assigned a detective to investigate alleged criminal wrong-doing by the members of the Sandusky Fire Department. In addition, even if it is assumed that there is no conflict of interest, the interdepartmental cooperation and reliance between the police department and fire department would suffer, to the detriment of the efficiency of each department and, more importantly, to the detriment of the safety of the citizens of the City of Sandusky.

Under Section 17 of the charter of the City of Sandusky, the Law Director may investigate the actions of the officers and employees of the City of Sandusky. It has been the custom and practice for the Law Director to refer such investigations to an outside agency or independent counsel so that the Law Director may retain the trust and confidence of City officials and employees and to avoid even the appearance of impropriety and any conflict of interest.

I have taken the liberty of reviewing for the relevant time period the ambulance run reports, records reflecting the employees of the Fire Department on duty, all records related to the care and treatment of Mufaro Young, all records related to other events surrounding the care and treatment of Mufaro Young and the emergency at hand, and procedures regarding emergency calls and care and treatment. It is my opinion that the personnel of the Sandusky Fire Department acted according to protocol and did not perform their duties in a sub-standard manner. There was clearly no criminal conduct by any member of the Sandusky Fire Department.

No investigation is warranted.

As an aside, I realize that William Young, the child's father, was distraught because of the physical condition of his son and afraid for the safety and well-being of his child. He was interfering with the lawful duties and operations of the emergency personnel on the scene, who are public officials attempting to perform their authorized duties. Under other circumstances, he could have been charged with a violation of Revised Code Section 2917.13, which concerns misconduct at emergencies and hampering emergency personnel in their work, a first-degree misdemeanor, or a violation of Revised Code Section 2921.31, which concerns obstructing or impeding an official in the performance of his duty, a second degree misdemeanor, or if it created a risk of physical harm, which his actions arguably did, a felony of the fifth degree.

William Lang

Attorney at Law