An unsigned letter filled with false information was sent to Sandusky Yacht Club members using the club’s return address, according to club officials.
“I was able to determine the (anonymous mailing) did not originate from the Sandusky Yacht Club,” U.S. Postal Inspector Frank Pihoker wrote in an e-mail to club Treasurer Mark Gacka. “This conclusion is based on the Yacht Club having no official affiliation (for the purposes of sending these letters) with the originator ... which I determined to be Sandusky Bay Development, 701 E. Water St., Sandusky.”
Pihoker described the use of a fictitious address as an unlawful act.
“The intent of the letter was to stop the yacht club from petitioning the city (for vacancy of a portion of property),” Gacka said, adding that the unsigned letter was damaging to the club.
Gacka said enclosed with the anonymous letters were copies of two Sandusky Register stories and a copy of a letter written by Gacka to Sandusky City Commissioners requesting the club’s petition for vacancy be placed back on the agenda.
Gacka said only he and the seven city commissioners had copies of the SYC letter asking that the club’s request be placed back on the agenda when it was sent with the anonymous mailing.
Nobody else could have had a copy of it, Gacka said. He mailed the SYC letter to each commissioner, but the commissioner’s name on the copy included with the anonymous mailings was covered with white-out before being photocopied, he said.
The anonymous mailings were sent with postage purchased on the Internet, Ziss said, and that enabled postal officials to trace the mailing back to Sandusky Bay Development Co.
Under federal law, the punishment for using a fictitious name or address for mailings could be a fine or no more than five years in prison, according to the e-mail sent to Gacka from Pihoker.
Sandusky Bay Development Co. operates Battery Park Marina, Battery Park Marine Services and Cedar Point Yacht Services.