Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter and assistant county prosecutor Maryann Barylski aren't coming clean with residents about their testimony in the Kim Nuesse Civil Service hearing.
Baxter and Barylski both declined to allow the testimony they gave last week to be videotaped, and Baxter's explanation for that decision doesn't pass the stink test. It also defies the logic attorneys normally revere.
Many witnesses -- including Nuesse, Matt Kline and others -- who testified allowed their testimony to be recorded. They allowed the public to hear the questions and the answers. Those witnesses did not hide. Those witnesses had the courage of their convictions.
But Baxter said he did not want his words distorted by the Sandusky Register. He knew full well, however, the newspaper intended to Webcast his testimony in its entirety at sanduskyregister.com. His account of what happened, and when, would not have been subject to interpretation by anyone but the voters who elected him who would have watched the Webcast of his testimony. His assertion to the contrary is intellectually dishonest.
There is no videotape, and the sound quality of the audiotape is poor. Baxter spoke softly when he testified about the numerous inaccuracies in the story he told the Murman investigators, and Judge Joseph Cirigliano, the hearing officer, inexplicably ordered that the microphone be moved away from Baxter before the prosecutor began his testimony. Those two factors rendered the audio recording of Baxter's testimony difficult to hear and understand.
Baxter's decision -- to hide from his constituents -- further taints his credibility as a witness, and Barylski also tainted her own credibility with implausible responses to questions. She acknowledged drawing conclusions about Kim Nuesse based on rumor and innuendo but never called Nuesse to discuss the issues. That makes no sense at all.
We find it difficult to understand why people with nothing to hide ... insist on hiding. Strikes us more like the behavior of people who would rather voters didn't hear their true positions, their true intentions, or their true agendas.