Nuesse lawyer depicts Kevin Baxter as less than truthful

SANDUSKY It was a slow day Wednesday at the Kim Nuesse Civil Service hearing. Althoug
May 24, 2010



It was a slow day Wednesday at the Kim Nuesse Civil Service hearing.

Although K. Ronald Bailey, Nuesse's attorney, called six witnesses, most of the focus was on just one incident: A Nov. 30, 2006, meeting that involved Nuesse, Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter, Erie County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert DeLamatre and several officials from Sandusky Schools.

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Bailey used the meeting to depict Baxter, one of the city's key witnesses, as someone who is less than truthful.

After the hearing, Bailey said attacking the credibility of the city's witnesses will be an ongoing strategy as the hearing progresses.

"We want to talk about the four issues (Nuesse is accused of)," he said. "But also we want to look at: Were the people who testified for the city about those four issues telling the truth?"

According to DeLamatre and retired Sandusky assistant superintendent John Kaszonyi, who also testified Wednesday, Nuesse, Baxter and school officials met to discuss -- among other issues -- gang activity in the city's schools.

Yet Baxter told Murman investigators he never discussed gang activity with Nuesse.

"Prior to (Nuesse) making her announcement to the Sandusky media that there was a gang problem and that the prosecutor was not adding gang specifications to charges, Chief Nuesse never discussed this fact or problem with Baxter," the Murman report said. "(Also), Baxter stated to the best of his knowledge and information, there is no gang problem in the city of Sandusky."

On Wednesday evening after the hearing, Baxter responded. He said he had never discussed "gang specifications" with Nuesse, and that's what he stressed to the Murman investigators and in his testimony in this hearing.

He also said the Murman report has inaccuracies -- which he has admitted -- and "wished he had a chance to look it over before they finished it."

Furthermore, he said he doesn't remember ever meeting with DeLamatre, Nuesse and school officials about gangs, and "maybe Judge DeLamatre was confused."

Baxter said they did meet about using canines in the schools, and that's what DeLamatre might be remembering.

According to testimony by DeLamatre and Kaszonyi, the group talked about gangs, canines and other school issues all in the same meeting Nov. 30.

Sandusky High School principal Dan Poggiali, Sandusky Schools superintendent Bill Pahl, Jim Smith and former Perkins Township Trustee Thomas Pascoe also testified Wednesday.

Poggiali and Pahl couldn't recall the exact details of the Nov. 30 meeting, so they only testified briefly. Pascoe and Smith, who was on the Police Partnership Building Committee, testified about a joint dispatch system between Sandusky and Perkins.

The joint dispatch system would have saved both cities money, but "politics" got in the way of progress -- which is often the case in Sandusky and Perkins, Smith said.

Pascoe described how the dispatch system discussions evolved, and he was a character witness for Nuesse.

On Friday, Dick Brady, Tim McClung, Gary Frankowski, Al Jenkins, Vince Donald, Al Matthews and Rob Parthemore are scheduled to testify.