Nuesse wants papers from investigation

SANDUSKY An interview of Sandusky police Chief Kim Nuesse by investigators was postponed Wednesday a
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

SANDUSKY

An interview of Sandusky police Chief Kim Nuesse by investigators was postponed Wednesday after she filed a complaint in Erie County Common Pleas Court.

Nuesse has been on paid administrative leave since March 10 pending the results of a third-party investigation.

The police department as a whole made a verbal complaint Nuesse created a hostile work environment, city manager Matt Kline said previously.

Her "relationship to the truth" and decision-making skills were also called into question.

Last week Nuesse's attorney, K. Ronald Bailey, asked the city for "copies of any and all reports or other documents generated in the ongoing investigation," court records state.

After hearing no response, Nuesse filed a petition for a court order requiring the city to release the documents.

According to letters to Bailey dated April 15, city attorneys are declining to hand over the documents. They allege "the records are currently protected from disclosure" under the Confidential Law Enforcement Investigatory Records portion of Ohio public records law.

"We've never been given anything definite," Bailey said of why Nuesse is being investigated. "She's one of the best things that's ever happened to this city."

Now a judge will determine if the records should be released. In addition, Nuesse requested a temporary restraining order to halt the city's investigation until a judge decides if the documents should be handed over.

"To be required to submit to such an interview with such serious consequences without the public records previously requested will result in immediate and irreparable harm (to Nuesse)," the filing states.

Kline and city law director Don Icsman said Wednesday they have no documents pertaining to the investigation. Icsman said it's in the hands of the special investigator hired for the city, Michael Murman of Lakewood.

Murman did not return a call for comment.

Columbus attorney Susan Porter is handling the complaint, Icsman said.

"She represents us in this matter because of the working relationship with the chief," he said.

Porter said she was surprised Nuesse went to court on the matter.

"We believe that any records that exist today are exempt from the public records act," she said. "We are hopeful that the chief will cooperate with that."

The interview was slated to take place at Bailey's downtown office, but attorneys agreed to hold off on the meeting until a judge makes a ruling in the case, Bailey said.

"Really I think the case law helps us in our argument as to why we should get the records," he said. "What's supposed to be produced is pretty broad."

A hearing on the matter is expected to take place next week in court before Judge Roger Binette.