WESTERHOLD: No justice for Nuesse, city taxpayers

The story that got the most attention last week was "City attorney helped write Nuesse ruling." The newsroom fielded more
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010


The story that got the most attention last week was "City attorney helped write Nuesse ruling." The newsroom fielded more calls and comments from readers on that one than any other in my recent memory.

And we put it on Page A2. Wish I had a do-over on that decision.

Many of the readers who contacted the newsroom expressed outrage at the judge's "decision" -- that Nuesse should remain fired over a $15 parking ticket -- and the fact that Cirigliano had the city's hired attorney write his opinion.

I share that outrage and wrote this blog a day after Cirigliano told a reporter the authorship of his opinion, "was none of (our) business," and "You're not entitled to know everything."

I should leave well enough alone. What more is there to say? Chief Nuesse was right when she called it a "witch hunt" way back in February 2008, when the plan was put into motion. It was corrupt then. It was corrupt as it was being investigated, and it was corrupt throughout the Civil Service hearings that dragged on for a year at an incredibly wasteful cost to taxpayers.

That's my opinion, and I'd be entitled to express it even if I did not have the unique view of what transpired in the last 18 months from this perch here at Jackson and East Market streets.

What's next? The city's Civil Service Commission will vote soon whether to accept Cirigliano's recommendation, reject it, or modify it. My guess? The way this has been so packaged and shoved down the public's throat tells me the judge -- and all those anti-Nuesse types -- are pretty confident the Commission will vote to keep her fired.

Will the three members of the Civil Service Commission look at the transcripts of the hearing? Will they review the testimony? If they do, it should be obvious to them that Nuesse and her attorney disproved every allegation that was made. If they do review the evidence, it will be obvious this was a witch hunt.

I hope the Civil Service Commission does the right thing, but I've learned over the last 18 months that might makes right and what is right doesn't mean much of anything when it comes to the agenda of the county's entrenched leadership.

I hoped the investigators from the Murman law firm, another group hired by the city, would conduct a fair and unbiased investigation. That didn't happen. Read that report HERE and see for yourself.

I hoped city commission would conduct a fair and honest vote on reinstating Nuesse -- it was a 3-3 tie to throw out the Murman report -- so that didn't happen. There was never another vote, and the Murman report survived despite harsh criticism of it from across the community for being biased and inaccurate.

And despite the ample evidence that Cirigliano was not the person who could act as an impartial hearing officer -- the ample, ample evidence -- I hoped he would render a fair decision. That didn't happen.

I'm hopeful the Civil Service Commission will step up and do what every one else in a power position has failed to do: Stand up for what is right and vote to end the corruption.

But I'm not counting on it.