Judge: City need not show Nuesse case records

SANDUSKY Sandusky Police Chief Kim Nuesse won't be able to see theevidence against her.
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

SANDUSKY

Sandusky Police Chief Kim Nuesse won't be able to see theevidence against her.

Erie County Common Pleas Judge Roger Binette decided Friday that Nuesse does not have the right to see city investigators' records prior to her interview with them.

Furthermore, the chief's complaint against city officials and a request to halt the city's investigation into her conduct were denied.

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

The police department as a whole made a verbal complaint that Nuesse created a hostile work environment, city manager Matt Kline previously said. Her "relationship to the truth" and decision-making skills were also called into question.

Nuesse filed the complaint against city manager Matt Kline, law director Don Icsman and attorney Michael Murman two weeks ago, after she was denied documents pertaining to theinvestigation.

Nuesse is being investigated for "specific allegations of civil and criminal misconduct," according to a citation in Binette's ruling.

Because the investigation is ongoing, "the release of the requested items would create a high probability of disclosing the identity of an uncharged subject," Binette said.

The records are being withheld due to the Confidential Law Enforcement Investigation portion of Ohio law, Binette said. City attorneys had cited the same reason for not handing over the documents, court records state.

"Naturally I'm disappointed. We put a lot of work into it," said Nuesse's attorney, K. Ronald Bailey.

Nuesse had claimed her rights to due process would be violated if she was not given the documents prior to a scheduled investigative interview. That interview was temporarily put on hold after the complaint was filed.

"The city will move forward to conclude its investigation," said Margaret Cannon, civil attorney representing city officials.

And it will. A interview between the chief and investigators is set to take place at 10 a.m. today in Bailey's office.

Not having the documents "makes it hard because you don't know the context of the questions," Bailey said.

The interview was scheduled with Murman, but Bailey said he was not sure who would be asking the questions.

"It is coming to an end," Cannon said of the investigation process.

Once the investigation is completed, before any possible disciplinary action would be taken against Nuesse, she will be allowed to review the city's evidence, Binette said.

That will allow her due process, he said.

"At least then we will know what we're responding to," Bailey said.

Kline and Icsman did not return a call seeking comment.