The Truth: Sandusky's investigation bills are adding up

SANDUSKY The truth may be priceless, but it isn't free. As of April 28, the city has
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



The truth may be priceless, but it isn't free.

As of April 28, the city has been billed $6,750 by Murman andAssociates for the investigation into the Sandusky police department and $28,100 for the investigation into the Department of Development CHIP program.

"It was a necessary expense, unfortunately," city manager Matt Kline said.

The police department investigation began as a probe into allegations thatSandusky police Chief Kim Nuesse created a hostile work environment, according to city manager Matt Kline.

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

As of Monday, the city has paid Nuesse more than $10,000 since she was placed on paid administrative leave March 10.

"We'd be finished (with the police department investigation), if she (hadn't) delayed what she's been delaying," Kline said. "But that's her choice and her right."

Nuesse and her attorney K. Ronald Bailey filed a restraining order in Erie County Common Pleas Court to postpone her interview with investigators. According to court documents filed by Bailey, the city has not provided Nuesse will documentation from the investigation that he contends is public record. Nuesse has also filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Kline said one has to wonder if she's intentionally slowing down the process.

Murman and Associates' investigation into the city Department of Development came with a price tag of $28,100.

The invoices from the Lakewood-based law firm for both investigations accrued since November, with the monthly bills ranging from $2,412.50 to more than $6,000.

Any expenditure greater than $10,000 has to be approved by a majority vote of the city commission. Since the $28,100 built up over time and each invoice was less than $10,000, there has been no commission vote to approve the expense.

The investigation costs were paid from the respective departments that were being investigated, said city finance director Ed Widman.

The $6,750 paid so far for the police department investigation was therefore paid from police department funds.

Though these expenditures will affect the general budget, Widman said the overall impact on the budget is still subjective at this point.

Widman said its important for the city to obtain the proper information and proper advice in these situations.

Kline said that once the city has better handle on what its revenues will be, he'll be able to gauge how much the expenses will impact the budget.