In the Feb. 8 edition of the Sandusky Register there appeared an article concerning the disgruntled Summit County Sheriff and his filing of a complaint against Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Baxter. The Summit County Sheriff was upset that the grand jury for Summit County voted not to indict a deputy. The case was handled by the Erie County Prosecutor after others refused to handle the case. The Register article relied to a great extent on a story that appeared in the Akron Beacon Journal. However, noticeably absent from the Register article were important facts contained in the Akron newspaper. Specifically, the following was excluded from the Register article.
Excerpt from Feb. 5, 2010, Akron Beacon Journal article:
“Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Brad Gessner, head of agency’s criminal division, said it was ‘sad to see the sheriff trying to point blame somewhere else.’
Gessner said Walsh (elected Summit County Prosecutor) had considerable difficulty getting another agency to take Giffin’s case, and that Alexander (Summit County Sheriff) was made aware of those difficulties.
First, Gessner said, the special prosecutor division of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office was contacted in late August.
‘They came to our office, reviewed the file...and the attorney general’s chief of the criminal justice section, Jim Slagle, advised Prosecutor Walsh that they declined to prosecute the case,” Gessner said.
Next, Gessner said the office of Portage County Prosecutor Victor V. Vigluicci was contacted. Vigluicci also turned down the case.
Medina County Prosecutor Dean Holman then was contacted, and he, too, turned it down, Gessner said.”
It is disappointing that a fact such as the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and two other county prosecuting attorney’s offices had declined to prosecute the case was excluded from the Sandusky Register article.
Erie County Prosecuting Attorney
Editor’s note: The entire story from the Akron Beacon Journal can be found at the Beacon Journal Web site, ohio.com