LOCAL VOICES: Baxter responds

By KEVIN BAXTER, Erie County Prosecutor Over the last year,
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

By KEVIN BAXTER, Erie County Prosecutor

Over the last year, Matt Westerhold has demonstrated a bizarre obsession with Kim Nuesse and her saga as fired police chief of the Sandusky Police Department. He has not only been biased and unfair but has continuously lied to the readers of the Sandusky Register. The most recent lie was in his column accusing me of some wrong doing by simply correcting minor errors made by those investigating former chief Kim Nuesse. Not only did he accuse me of some wrong doing but he wrote that these corrections were only made once the Sandusky Register discovered them. This is absolutely false and Westerhold knows it. It was I who documented to City Law Director Don Icsman that there were minor corrections to be made to the report four days before Matt Westerhold even knew of any such error. And it was I who told Matt Westerhold that I advised the Law Director of corrections to the report. This all happened back in early June of last year. Initially, Matt Westerhold portrayed this revelation as a knock on the Murman report because the County Prosecutor discovered some errors in his reported interview. Now six months later and after my refusal to see matters through the distorted lens of a disturbed editor, Westerhold says there was nothing wrong with the Murman report but rather it was the County Prosecutor who committed some wrong doing. All of this is clearly borne out by the record, but Westerhold has again lied to the readers and Publisher Doug Phares and the Sandusky Register owners need to rectify this matter fast.

The mystery is why does Publisher Doug Phares allow Westerhold to use the Sandusky Register to publish false and defamatory statements to further Westerhold's personal agenda and subject the Register to this exposure. Over the past year, it is very evident that Westerhold has had a distorted view of reality and will do and say anything, about anyone, to have Kim Nuesse reinstated.

For example, here is a list of people Matt Westerhold has as at one time or another faulted with Kim Nuesse's demise:

The Honorable Joseph Cirigliano, County Commissioner Tom Ferrell, County Commissioner Bill Monaghan, Perkins Township Trustee Jeff Ferrell, Perkins Township Trustee Bill Dwelle, Sheriff Terry Lyons, Captain Paul Sigsworth, Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mary Ann Barylski, former Mayor Dennis Murray, Jr., former State Representative Chris Redfern, former Vice-Mayor Craig Stahl, City Commissioner Julie Farrar, City Manager Matt Kline, Law Director Don Iscman, Fire Chief Mike Meinzer, Acting Police Chief Charlie Sams, Lt. Phil Frost, Lt. Max Jarrett, Attorney Michael Murman, two retired FBI agents and yours truly.

It is clear that Matt Westerhold has an emotional investment in Kim Nuesse and her situation. It is also clearly unprofessional and down right bizarre. It rings of another so-called whistle blower by the name of Elsebeth Baumgartner with whom Matt Westerhold has on record supported and sympathized. Like Elsebeth, Matt sees conspiracies and boogeymen and if you don't agree with him you become one of the boogeymen. It is especially unfortunate for those who have to work under Westerhold. There are some good honest young reporters at the Register but Matt will consistently rewrite stories to fit his view of reality. He has knowingly printed false facts against public officials including Judge Joseph Cirigliano in an attempt to intimidate them from doing their job. God only knows when Doug Phares will see that this is no way to run a newspaper.

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Publisher's Note: We are breaking with our standard editorial practices in printing this letter. Under normal circumstances we would not publish a letter attacking an individual or one that contained known inaccuracies. However, this letter has both issues. As this is a response to a column written by our managing editor and the author demanded it be printed with no changes, we are doing so to give him full access to the same reading public as the original column.