Update: Sandusky County employee suspended after assault

Sheriff's office releases documents.
Jessica Cuffman
Apr 26, 2013

A Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office employee is on paid administrative leave after allegedly assaulting a co-worker.

Update: The sheriff's office released the documents earlier today. Click here to read them. Warning: Some of the language in the documents might be offensive to some.  

The male employee, accused of assaulting a female employee, was placed on leave last week pending the outcome of an internal investigation, Chief Deputy Bruce Hirt said.

Hirt refused to identify the employee or release any further information about the incident, citing the ongoing investigation.

The Register has submitted public records requests to Sheriff Kyle Overmyer for more information on the incident. In an email response, Overmyer said he had sent the request to Maj. Tom Fligor, jail administrator, for fulfillment.

State law requires law enforcement agencies to file an incident report prior to starting an investigation. The law generally requires incident reports be made available upon request as a public record, and does not allow these reports to be withheld from release for the reasons Hirt stated.

Neither Hirt nor Overmyer offered any explanation for why the sheriff’s office is keeping the report secret, or a reason the requirement in state law is being ignored.

Comments

yogi bear

maybe he wanted to be a cop but failed the application process!

nobodyfromnowhere

In the article it is stated "The law generally requires incident reports be made available upon request as a public record, and does not allow these reports to be withheld from release for the reasons Hirt stated." Then in the next paragraph it states "Neither Hirt nor Overmyer offered any explanation for why the sheriff’s office is keeping the report secret, or a reason the requirement in state law is being ignored."

Which is it? Either Hirt gave a reason that the Register thinks is insufficient or he didn't give one at all. It can't be both, as you are claiming in the article. It's things like these that erode peoples confidence in the press in general and the Register in particular. If the SR can't get something this simple right what else are they not getting right?

Matt Westerhold

Thanks nobodyfromnowhere. Also cited in the article was Hirt's response there was no report available because there was an ongoing investigation. It seems obvious that was not accurate to the requirements regarding incident reports given the incident report is dated April 19.

If the Register had not asked for it, the documentation likely would never have seen the light of day. The SR staff asserted their rights as members of the public and the sheriff's office complied. Any member of the public has equal rights to do the same.

I'm not sure what your concern might be beyond that as your statements are a bit inaccurate.  Given the name you've chosen to use, it also seems a bit silly I'm offering a response to your comments. 

nobodyfromnowhere

So then what you are stating is that the reason given was that there was an on going investigation? So you are saying that Hirt did give a reason and that the SR did not agree with it. Then that makes the last paragraph where the SR states that neither Hirt or Overmyer "offered any explanation for why the sheriff's office is keeping the report secret" is false. Hirt gave a reason you just didn't agree with it, but he still gave a reason.
My concern is that in the article the SR has made 2 false statements the first about state law and filing of incident reports and the second being the last paragraph. My concern is what other information being printed in the SR is false and why?
If you don't like my questions and comments so be it. I will continue to comment on what I read and continue to question, often pointedly, what appears to be incorrect in the articles of the SR and many times these questions will probably be directed at you as the editor, but you will always have the opportunity to respond.
I find your last sentence rather condensending. It is rather telling that you find it "silly" that you are responding to my comments because of my screen name. I believe that I have been respectful and polite towards you in all my comments and questions and had expected the same from you. It appears I expected too much. As for my screen name it comes from the song "Nobody From Nowhere" by Jimmy Buffet. You can find the lyrics at metro lyrics.com. It kinda describes quite a bit of Erie County and I mean that in a good way.

herbie_hancock

+1, aaaaand no rebuttal after that one.

Kmf1984

Is it not ok that they gather more information before making everything public??

tonto

The Sheriff is the youngest sheriff in the state and it shows. He doesn't know what to due with all his buddies in the department. He got the job after that last Sheriff died. The last sheriff carried him threw his very short law enforcement career. He should of stayed in the lower ranks of the department until he was seasoned enough to take over. Look at his ranking. I mean a sgt within 2-3 yrs. cpt. 2 yrs. no one makes rank that fast, unless your the golden child under the old sheriff.

John Harville

Father 'smokey' is a veteran deputy.
Brother is a deputy.
Former brotherinlaw is deputy.
Sister is Clerk of Courts.
Mother(?) and sister(?) clerk and councilmember in Lindsey(?)

Simple Enough II

I don't think it is so much a case of nepotism so much as most folks don't go through cop schools as there are limited opportunities as compared to a degree in electrical or such. Also think about a jailer is a nursemaid for some pretty stupid people, not sure I would want to do it. Along with that most departments are small and so you get stuck with sometimes some pretty crappy co-workers along with the typical megalomaniacs, drama queens and Rod Farvas! There are some really good folks out there in LE, just seem to hear more about the DB's.

John Harville

In another city where I lived, many of the cops had been juvenile thugs quite familiar with police opertions.... lol

luvblues2

Just read the full story in today's Register and was astounded. That dept. has some serious issues.

Ithink

Why is it that everyone seems to be bashing the news reporter and yet has no qualms about what the cop did? You have it backwards, people. A reporter tell the public what information they have gathered--so it's not complete yet, so what? You people are directing your anger at the messenger, instead of the offender. No wonder America is in the shape it is--there seems to be a bunch of idiots here.

herbie_hancock

Ithink, No one said anything about how the county employee should get off. To the contrary we have said that if they broke the law then they should be punished just like everyone else. It is not the employee we have a problem with. Its the fact that the SR flies off the handle whenever he/they don't get their way (right at that exact moment, much like my 2yo). They can print whatever he/they want and hope no one knows any different, yet when we call him/them out on it he/they can't give us a straight answer. His professionalism, or lack there of, is demonstrated throughout this forum. I've had a couple folks tell me about phone calls from him and his staff requesting public information, when the official can't get the information to him quick enough or are told to hold off on giving it to him he flies off the handle and resorts to profanity, name calling and legal threats. But why would we ever hear about that side of the story? Its funny that someone can write personal attacks, insensitivity or presumption of guilt in this forum and get deleted/suspended (or not depending on who its directed towards), yet he can hint at the lack of someones intellect based solely on a screen name and...nothing happens. We form our opinions of him based on the way he conducts himself and the way our local officials tell us he conducts himself, not based on his choice of screen name. This is a small town, if you destroy your repore with your local officials NO ONE will go out of their way to help you, something the SR is learning, or NOT learning.

Ithink

So some people think Westerhold's an arrogant man--he's in the right profession. Spend a day with a NY Times reporter and see how nicely you get treated. Yes, this is a small town, but do you know how many professions employ arrogant a$$es? Most of them are in the legal system or the 'white collar' jobs...just saying my opinion. I just think this blog should get back to the original topic of the story.

herbie_hancock

In no way does the word arrogant fit the definition I just gave, neither is it acceptable in any profession to be arrogant (except maybe an army leuitenent). There are reasons no one likes reporters/media, this article and his track record are examples.

Ithink

I agree. I'm on your side about this. NOW- let's move this blog forward and talk about the actual article concerning this officer who allegedly assaulted a co-worker. Talk about arrogance....

Ithink

*tells

freedom12

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

luvblues2

When the cops quit breaking the laws they are supposed to uphold? I don't see hate or lies from the SR. I do see it from Sandusky Co., though.

I can't imagine someone complaining so much about what the paper does unless they might possibly be part of the corruption in some way.

Jmschmidt812

I don't know what it seems like to anyone else, but it seems like the " reporter " , and I use that term loosely, is anti-law enforcement. If he wasn't then why not every once in awhile do a story on how a local law enforcement agency has contributed something positive to society. I say local but you can also include Sandusky county since you seem to be so focused on the law enforcement there. How about sorting threw some police reports showing how police saved a life, or rescued a child from some sort of danger. It would be nice to see you put law enforcement in a positive light, ANY agency will do. People get a negative perspective of all law enforcement when all they read about is your continuing attack on law enforcement. And for those of you that do complain about the SCSO for what you deem as mistakes or corruption and label the entire office that way are sadly mistaken. That would be like someone reading the paper and seeing your employer was arrested or charged with drug charges and a bunch of people calling the entire workforce drug addicts.

Ithink

That would be great if LE did something positive. People don't want to read about the cop that saved a cat from a tree. And if you read through the Daily Log you could see what LE does do. SR doesn't have to print that stuff, but they do--and it tells about when police go to a house where a kid doesn't want to go to school- they show up and make the kid go. There's positivity right there.

Ithink

That would be great if LE did something positive. People don't want to read about the cop that saved a cat from a tree. And if you read through the Daily Log you could see what LE does do. SR doesn't have to print that stuff, but they do--and it tells about when police go to a house where a kid doesn't want to go to school- they show up and make the kid go. There's positivity right there.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks Jmschmidt812. I'm not clear why you might need to use the word 'reporter' loosely, but here are a couple of stories published last week that loosely fit your 'positive' news description.

These stories are not absent from the newspaper; they just don't get the same level of attention from readers even though they too are displayed on the front page. 

Link Man reunited with motorized scooter 

Link Police officers rescue man and dog

It's just more ...

Some commentators use the word "reporter" loosely; some newspapers apply the concept of "journalistic integrity" loosely.

John Harville

... IF SC LE ever did anything positive...

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