WESTERHOLD: Stand up, applaud Darden report

The forces of mediocrity won a huge victory Tuesday with city manager Matt Kline's decision to fire Sandusky police Chief Kim Nuesse
Matt Westerhold
May 24, 2010

The forces of mediocrity won a huge victory Tuesday with city manager Matt Kline's decision to fire Sandusky police Chief Kim Nuesse, and taxpayers were dealt a huge sucker punch to the gut.

That punch is going to cost us taxpayers.

Kline based his decision on the infamous Murman report and the sage advice from the old wise manhimself, Kevin Baxter.

"After speaking with Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter ... it is very apparent to me that you failed inmaintaining effective liaison and open channels of communication between our department and (his)," Kline wrote Nuesse in his June 17 letter discharging her.

Nuesse-gate is all about comfort for Baxter, but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with old Kevin having that much influence. The testimony Baxter gave the Murman investigators was -- at best -- less than forthright. And he's already acknowledged it is inaccurate, although he's been dodging questions about just how inaccurate.

The Murman report is not worth spit. Commissioned with a set agenda, it's filled with half-truths and rehearsed and coordinated babbling by whiny men who never grew up and have an inflated view of their value to the community. "We want our mommy," the elite SPD commanders said. "Please Mommy Kline, make her go away. We want closure."

The Murman report is deceptive from word one. It is a corrupt document commissioned by a corrupt government. The statements by the "elite commanders," SPD lieutenants Charlie Sams, Phil Frost, Max Jarrett, and Baxter and others, are all self-serving.

When Kline slavishly aligned himself with the severely flawed Murman report he chose to ignore another report that offers far more insight. The report for the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance prepared by former ex-officio Mayor Thomas Darden, offered city leaders a way out of Nuesse-gate hell. But Kline wasn't searching for truth; he was protecting his mommy boys.

Some of the residents represented by the IMA do not feel comfortable with the Sandusky police "elite commanders" due to previous questionable behavior. Where there's smoke there's something burning. Frost and Jarrett "are not well liked in my community," one of the ministers told me, speaking a simple and honest truth.

Unlike the Murman report, Darden's IMA report was not commissioned. It is not a waste of taxpayer money. It is a report authored by a thoughtful citizen whorepresents an involved group that has had the courage to stand against the current and ask for "fundamental fairness."

Fundamental fairness? Wow, what a concept.

The IMA agenda was to find out how Nuesse-gate happened, and given the time constraints put upon him, Darden produced an eloquent and powerful statement. His letter to the IMA is worthy of applause; a standing ovation.

Darden concludes the 24-page report this way:

"What we are looking for, and demand, is fundamental fairness from those who are the stewards of our city. If the city leaders cannot commit themselves to basic fairness then every one of them should be replaced regardless of the chaos that may be created."

THAT'S TRUTH and THAT'S COURAGE ... Can city commissioners, Baxter and the others say this process was fundamentally fair? Is that too much to ask?

"Chief Nuesse should be taken off administrative leave and reinstated. If necessary a new truly independent investigation should be instituted when someone complains in writing to the city manager, Mr. Icsman or the city commissioners, if they can be found. If police have a problem with their working conditions let them file a grievance and let the union handle it through the process. The key to neutrality is having the ability to receive a complaint with an open mind and conduct any investigation with basic fundamental fairness to all parties."

Right there is the road map out of this mess that Darden offered city leaders, but here's another way of nutshelling how the city responded.

Darden to city leaders: Be fair.

City leaders to Darden: Drop dead.

And there you have it ...