Kline fires Chief Nuesse

SANDUSKY Sandusky's first female police chief has been fired. City manager Matt Kline
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

SANDUSKY

Sandusky's first female police chief has been fired.

City manager Matt Kline notified Kim Nuesse on Tuesday that she wasterminated effective immediately.

"It was a difficult decision. I feel that's the decision that had to be made," Kline said.

Nuesse turned in her badge and gun when she was placed on paidadministrative leave March 12 pending the results of an investigation intoallegations that she created a hostile work environment. Her decision-making skills and "relationship with the truth" were also called into question.

"I find that you have not displayed absolute honesty and that your dishonest behavior has undermined the effectiveness of the Sandusky Police Department's activities and could have cost the city tens of thousands ofdollars," Kline wrote to Nuesse in his disciplinary decision.

Kline cited the emergency dispatch situation, the voided parking ticket and falsified information on the 2005 WiFi and the Weed and Seed grantapplications as a few instances of Nuesse's dishonesty.

The investigative report fromMurman and Associates confirmed Nuesse had truthfulness issues, and it was Nuesse's pattern of dishonesty that concerned him the most,Kline explained.

As for the Murman investigation, Kline said he believes it was absolutely impartial and independent.

Nuesse was not offered any kind of severance package.

"(A severance package) was never asked for," Kline said.

In April, Nuesse filed a complaint against the city with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. Kline said Tuesday he assumes Nuesse will file additional lawsuits.

"I'm ready to move forward," Kline said.

Nuesse did not return calls seeking comment. K. Ronald Bailey, Nuesse's attorney, said Tuesday afternoon he only had time to briefly look over Kline's decision.

"We are going to continue to fight this," Bailey said.

Former Assistant Chief Charlie Sams will remain the interim police chief. Sams declined comment.

"I think it's time for the city to be able to move forward and deal with other important issues that are in front of us now that the city manager has made his decision," commission president Dennis Murray Jr. said.

Commissioner Dan Kaman said he was surprised by the timing of Kline's decision.

"I'm disappointed in the decision," Kaman said.

Kaman said he's looking forward to a resolution. He said he expects Nuesse will file a lawsuit, but added that he still supports her.

"I haven't wavered since day one," Kaman said. He said Nuesse did a good job as chief, but there obviously were some problems that need to be resolved.

Commissioner Dave Waddington said he was also disappointed to learn of Kline's decision.

"Right now it's unfortunate," Waddington said. "I intend to talk to Matt (Kline) and try to figure this whole process out."

Commissioner Brett Fuqua said he supports Kline's decision.

"It's not going to be something that will be overnight, but I think we'll bounce back and recover from this," Fuqua said.

Newly appointed commissioner Bob Warner said the decision is solely Matt Kline's.

"If this is what he wants to do, I have to stand behind him," Warner said.

Commission vice president Craig Stahl declined comment. Commissioner Julie Farrar could not be reached for comment.

Murray said the commission will now discuss a selection board to find a new police chief. The board will consist of three residents appointed by the commission, the president of the civil service commission and either the president of the commission or another commissioner appointed by the president.

As to whether he will serve on the selection board, Murray said that's something he will discuss with his fellow commissioners.

The Rev. Tom Darden, political chairman of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, said the alliance will call a special session to decide what its reaction will be.

"I would have suspected that (Kline) would have done something different than to terminate her," Darden said. "If she's not willing to accept it ... then we will continue to support her in any action she would wish to take."