Sandusky City Manager Matt Kline: Nuesse had 'no honesty or integrity'

SANDUSKY The city has finished presenting its case to Judge Joseph Cirigliano in the Kim Nuesse Civi
May 24, 2010



The city has finished presenting its case to Judge Joseph Cirigliano in the Kim Nuesse Civil Service hearing.

In two hours of testimony Tuesday, city manager Matt Kline laid out his reasons for firing police Chief Nuesse.

Find complete coverage of the Nuesse saga here.

Kline said she falsified grant documents, couldn't cooperate with Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter and Sheriff Terry Lyons, wrongly voided a parking ticket and was untrustworthy.

"There was no honesty orintegrity," he said. "I felt like what she was doing was playing political games, and in our line of work, we don't play political games. ... She just couldn't be truthful or honest with me."

Kline said Nuesse lied about big issues like the dispatch system, but also about small issues. He said other city officials -- Baxter, acting Chief Charlie Sams, assistant county prosecutor Mary Ann Barylski, police Lt. Phil Frost and fire Chief Mike Meinzer --confirmed those lies during the hearing and during the investigation conducted by Michael Murman.

On Monday, Kline said he couldn't trust Nuesse's emotional stability, depicting a four-day period in February when she became paranoid after being questioned about the dispatch system by city commissioner Brian Crandall. Kline told her Crandall was abrasive with everybody, but he said she became emotionally unglued after that incident and never recovered.

"I remember thinking to myself, if she's reacting this way on something that's so minor, how would she react if a gunman took over Sandusky High School?" he said. "That was a thought I'd never shared with anybody, but it crept into my conscience. I couldn't sleep that night. I kept tossing and turning. This overreacting wasn't healthy."

In cross-examination K. Ronald Bailey, Nuesse's lawyer, rebutted each of the city's claims.

The city accused Nuesse of filing false grant reports on $28,000 worth of wireless technology she allegedly never purchased.

Yet according to federal documents, which Bailey presented as evidence, Nuesse provided invoices to the government to prove her purchases.

On Feb. 20, 2008, a federal employee, Ozie Jackson, filed Nuesse's grant reports. According to Jackson's notes, he used the invoices of her purchases, which were faxed to him by Nuesse, to complete that paperwork.

But Kline said when he called to get those invoices, someone told him they don't keep those documents for a long period of time. Kline said no other proof exists Nuesse spent that money.

In other portions of the cross-examination, Bailey attacked the notorious parking ticket.

He pointed out parking tickets are written to the owner of the car, and the city owned the car. He also pointed out Mike Will, the city manager at the time, approved the voiding of the ticket.

Kline said the city is better off since he fired Nuesse on June 17, and Cirigliano shouldn't reinstate her.

"By June 18, the tension had completely disappeared from city hall," he said. "We can't go back. It would destroy everything that's been built up since June. It would be such a reversal of course that I'm not sure the city would bemanageable."

The hearing will resume in 2009 as Nuesse and Bailey begin calling their witnesses.