Retired judge Joseph Cirigliano thinks former Sandusky police Chief Kim Nuesse should remain fired, according to a story published Saturday by The (Lorain) Morning Journal.
Cirigliano cited a parking ticket Neusse received and tickets to Cedar Point’s Soak City that she was given as reasons for his recommendation that city manager Matt Kline’s decision to terminate Nuesse be upheld, according to the story.
Click here to view the judge's ruling (pdf- Adobe Acrobat Reader required)
The three-person Civil Service Commission must vote whether to accept the recommendation, reject or modify it.
When contacted Saturday morning, Nuesse said neither she, nor her attorney, K. Ronald Bailey, had been informed Cirigliano had rendered a written recommendation. They only learned of it after being told a story detailing the written decision had been published by the Lorain paper.
Cirigliano did not return calls from the Register on Thursday, Friday or Saturday.
Nuesse was disappointed and angered by the decision.
“Cirigliano couldn’t get past what I believe is corruption,” she said. “The entire process has been corrupt, from my standpoint, and I’m calling it like I see it.”
Nuesse said she still holds hope despite the letdown that came with Cirigliano’s decision.
“I’m awaiting the Civil Service Commission to render a decision and am hopeful that these three citizens on the commission will be able to look at all the evidence, information and testimony we presented and render a fair and unbiased decision.”
The retired judge was hired at $300 per hour to act as an impartial hearing officer for the Civil Service process after Nuesse appealed the termination. The hearings took 22 days over the course of the last year to complete. Nuesse was suspended in February 2008, and terminated a few weeks later.
Nuesse contends Kline suspended her after she backed him down on two separate occasions when he allegedly groped her. A third alleged incident occurred during a meeting with Nuesse’s command staff. A federal lawsuit against the city and Kline related to those allegations is pending.
The city also hired two private law firms and a team of investigators to gather evidence against Nuesse after Kline suspended her, but it has refused to release any details regarding the total expenses incurred related to Nuesse’s termination.
It is not clear why Cirigliano provided details of his decision to an out-of-town newspaper but did not inform Nuesse or Bailey before the story was published.
The Morning Journal has a limited circulation in Sandusky and in Erie County, and it did not provide ongoing coverage of the Civil Service hearings. Cirigliano appears to have provided the information to the Lorain newspaper Friday, the same day a copy of it was mailed to Bailey.
“I received it today,” Bailey said Saturday. “It was postmarked Friday.”
Bailey also expressed frustration.
“At least give me the courtesy of getting a copy of the decision before you give it to a newspaper,” he said.