Nuesse responds to 12 charges in Murman report

SANDUSKY The charges have been made known, a response has been given, and now the city awaits a deci
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

SANDUSKY

The charges have been made known, a response has been given, and now the city awaits a decision.

On Tuesday afternoon Sandusky police Chief Kim Nuesse and her attorney sent a 13-page letter to city manager Matt Kline in response to the 12 disciplinary charges lodged against her.

According to the letter, many of the charges against Nuesse are confusing and do not actually allege misconduct. Bailey cites the allegation that Nuesse committed a "failure to display absolute honesty as prohibited by the Sandusky police Department Rules and Regulations, RR General Rules of Conduct IV.D 6."

"If that is actually what you meant to say, then she admits that she committed absolute honesty," Bailey wrote.

The charges also do not comply with state and federal laws because they do not contain specific examples and dates on which the alleged misconduct occurred, Bailey wrote.

Under these circumstances, disciplinary action is unnecessary and inappropriate, Bailey wrote.

Kline said on Monday that he had no timeline in mind as to when he would make his decision regarding Nuesse.

"Obviously there's going to be great weight placed on the written response that I receive (from Nuesse and Bailey)," Kline said Monday afternoon.

Here are Bailey's retorts to some of the allegations against Nuesse.

* Dispatch

"Chief Nuesse has not told her superior or the city commission that the city's dispatch system was on the verge of collapse," Bailey wrote.

Included with Bailey's letter are e-mails and memos from 2006 to present from at least eight other people regarding the city's emergency dispatch system. Many corroborated what Nuesse said she told officials.

In the Murman Report, commission president Dennis Murray Jr. told investigators that fire Chief Mike Meinzer did not believe Nuesse's concerns about dispatch were accurate.

Bailey, however, asserts that Nuesse's conclusions on the dispatch problems were based partially on information Meinzer had given her, citing evidence from e-mails and memos.

The exhibits given by Bailey also include an e-mail from a reserve officer to Nuesse telling her the portable radio coverage was a serious safety risk for the officers. Another e-mail is from a Sandusky lieutenant informing Nuesse the dispatch consoles were about 12 years old and had a life expectancy of about 15 to 20 years.

Bailey also included a copy of the proceedings from the Feb. 26, 2008, meeting with the Perkins Township Trustees as evidence it was not Nuesse who led city leaders to believe the dispatch system was on the verge of collapse.

* Federal grant money

According to Bailey, valuable documents regarding the 2005 WiFi grant were not provided by the city although he and Nuesse requested them.

Included in the documents requested should have been information faxed to the Department of Justice regarding expenditures to qualify for the grant.

Bailey did present an e-mail dated June 10 from Judy Poston of the Department of Justice. The e-mail confirmed that the information Nuesse had faxed was received by the department and the expenses were an allowable cost for the program.

"These are not documents fabricated by Chief Nuesse as others have suggested, but documentation of funds already expended for the connectivity," Bailey added.

* Uncomfortable work environment

"This accusation has so many possible permutations that it is virtually impossible to know what it actually alleged," Bailey wrote.

He acknowledged that some officers under Nuesse's command did not agree with all of her decisions.

"If that is the task you wish the Chief of Police to accomplish, good luck," Bailey said.

In the Murman report, Erie County Sheriff Terry Lyons denied any issues between himself and Nuesse and said he is not aware of any poor leadership or poor decision-making abilities on her part, Bailey noted.

"Interestingly, the police chiefs of Berlin Heights, Huron, Vermilion, or Bellevue were not interviewed, nor was anyone from local branches of the Ohio State Highway Patrol or the Federal Bureau of Investigation interviewed," Bailey noted. "Nor have any of the road officers or their union representatives been interviewed."

* The parking ticket

Nuesse was issued a parking ticket in September 2006 while on duty in an unmarked car during a time when established ticket quotas were still in place, Bailey wrote.

"When the ticket was issued, Chief Nuesse thought it was a practical joke, since she recently joined the department," stated Bailey's letter.

Nuesse offered to pay the ticket but former Captain Gary Frankowski said it should not be processed, and so it wasn't.

"Given that the city manager, the court and that the supervising officer whose idea it was to void the ticket were all in agreement, the ticket was voided and kept on record as such," Bailey wrote.

* Manipulated expenses

Nuesse has been accused of buying coffee and bottled water for officers using department funds and then manipulating the records to hide the expense.

"The reality is that the purchase of coffee and water, instead of having officers accepting them for free from local merchants, was done completely in the open," Bailey wrote. "The only difficulty that ever arose was determining what heading under the budget to place the purchases.

"In 2007, Chief Nuesse placed the water for the department under the budget heading of 'Contractual Services', since it was being delivered," Bailey added.

Bailey explained that in 2008 Nuesse mistakenly included the water under "General Supplies." She corrected the problem by asking Lt. Frost to pick up the water as well as the coffee.

"None of these purchases were hidden," Bailey wrote.