Feds contradict Baxter's testimony in Nuesse hearing

SANDUSKY The credibility of Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter and the Murman report appears to hav
May 24, 2010



The credibility of Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter and the Murman report appears to have taken another hit.

Two federal officers, a high-ranking U.S. Marshal and a special agent for the Drug Enforcement Agency, both submitted affidavits last week inthe Kim Nuesse Civil Service hearing, and the statements directly contradict some of Baxter's testimony.

U.S. Marshal Peter Elliott's statement addresses the infamous warrant sweep.

In early 2007, the Sandusky and Perkins police departments, along with federal officials, rounded up more than 16 criminals with outstandingwarrants, and no one informed Baxter or Erie County Sheriff Terry Lyons before the sweep.

In his testimony, Baxter criticized the sweep, saying he and Lyons should have been informed. He also said the agencies arrested too manycriminals who only had misdemeanor warrants.

In the Murman report, Baxter also said federal officials called a meeting in February 2007 to "educate" Nuesse and "to put an end to what turned out to be a wasteful and disruptive stunt."

But Elliott, who oversees the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, said the meeting wasn't called for that reason at all.

"The purpose of the February 12, 2007 meeting was to encourage all of the participating agencies to work together toward our joint goal of removing as many fugitives from the streets of Erie County, Ohio, as our resources allow," Elliott said.

Elliott said no investigator, Michael Murman or otherwise, ever called to speak with him about the meeting or Nuesse. He also praised Nuesse's efforts.

"In my experience, Chief Nuesse has always been cooperative, professional and dedicated to law enforcement," Elliott said. "Moreover, the United States Marshals Services has enjoyed a great working relationship with Chief Nuesse."

The other affidavit, from DEA special agent Joel Carter, addressed the accusations from Baxter and assistant Erie County prosecutor Mary Ann Barylski, who said Nuesse was taking drug cases to federal authorities instead of Baxter.

In the Murman report, they cited that as proof that Nuesse wouldn't cooperate.

But the agent said that never happened.

"There were no drug cases brought to the DEA-Toledo by Sandusky Police Chief Nuesse seeking federal prosecution," he said.

Carter also said Nuesse shouldn't have informed Baxter and Lyons of the warrant sweep, and that the U.S attorney will inform local authorities if necessary.

"As a general rule, the initial intent of most DEA criminal investigations is to seek federal charges," he said, "so there are some instances where coordination with state and local authorities is limited to a 'need-to-know basis.'"