Sandusky won't release documents over expenses related to Nuesse's firing

SANDUSKY Taxpayers might not bear the burden of Nuesse-gate after all. According to c
May 24, 2010



Taxpayers might not bear the burden of Nuesse-gate after all.

According to city officials, the city's insurance company will pay for all expenses involved with the firing of police Chief Kim Nuesse, including the Murman report and the pending Civil Service hearing.

However, the city would not provide documentation from its insurance company, the Buckeye Ohio Risk Management Association, to confirm the latter.

"I checked with the (city's) law director, Don Iscman, and he said (city attorney Margaret Cannon) should review what's public and what's not before we hand anything else over," said Ed Widman, Sandusky's finance director.

If BORMA decided not to cover the expenses of the Civil Service hearing, it would cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars.

Expenditures involved with the hearing include the salaries of both Cannon, the city's attorney in this case, and Joseph Cirigliano, the former appellate court judge overseeing the hearing.

But on Monday, Widman, Iscman and city manager Matt Kline said BORMA was paying for all those expenses.

"I'm pretty sure the insurance is covering everything," Kline said.

The Register requested all correspondence between BORMA and city officials by 9 a.m. Thursday to confirm this, which is allowed under the Ohio Public Records law.

But the city missed that deadline, failing to produce any documents from BORMA regarding expenses from the Civil Service hearing.

On Thursday afternoon, Iscman declined to comment and Cannon did not return phone calls.

"You'll have to discuss it with Margaret Cannon," every other official said.

Widman did provide one invoice earlier in the week, which confirmed that BORMA reimbursed the city for the Murman report.

On an invoice dated Sept. 23, the insurance company paid Sandusky $22,663.52.

That money covered all the city's payments to Murman & Associates, North Coast Investigative Services and Downes, Hurst & Fishel -- the three companies involved in the investigation of Nuesse.

According to Widman, the city has used BORMA every year since 1984.

On Jan. 28 of this year, the city commission approved a payment of $429,237 to the company for 2008.

Widman said five others local cities -- Huron, Napoleon, Defiance, Bowling Green and Willard -- use the same insurance. He said the price of the insurance depends on six factors, including the number of claims failed the previous year.

Consequently, taxpayers may still pay for some of Nuesse-gate indirectly, if the cost of the city's insurance increases.