Bad arrests: Dodge, bob, weave

Ottawa County assistant prosecutor steps in, steps out
Register
Aug 27, 2014

Ottawa County assistant Prosecutor Joe Gerber on Tuesday sent conflicting messages about his decision to withhold public records concerning the allegedly false arrests made by Put-in-Bay police.

Gerber in the morning said he would get an answer by end of business on Tuesday about his earlier explanation to the Register why he refused to release copies of the arrest reports involving three employees of the Put-in-Bay Resort.

The arrests were still under investigation, Gerber explained Monday, incorrectly citing an exemption in Ohio's public records law as the reason for his decision to withhold the arrest reports.

Generally, investigations occur before an arrest is made.

Read False reports are Top Secret

But later on Tuesday, Gerber switched it up and announced he was bowing out and intended to ignore the Register's public records request by handing it off to the village's law director. 

“George Wilber represents Put-In-Bay; as a result, please direct your inquiry to him,” Gerber stated in an email to the Register later on Tuesday.

The Aug. 17 public records request from the Register was directed to the Put-in-Bay Police Department. Gerber contacted the Register in response to the request.

Wilber has not responded to inquiries from the Register. He generally does not respond to written inquiries, telephone messages or requests for comment on matters of public concern.

State laws that require transparency in documenting arrests and providing detailed arrests reports to the public upon request do not provide options for public officials to ignore public records requests.

The arrests at the PIB Resort happened in September 2013 and were captured on video. 

Watch: Strange island arrests

Gerber's about-face Tuesday is similar to Mulligan's reaction to inquiries from the Register. Mulligan "authorized" the arrests of the PIB Resort employees, according to the arresting officer, PIB police Sgt. Steve Korossy. 

But Mulligan provided conflicting information about his involvement, hotel officials have said. He later told the Register he was unfamiliar with the court cases and assistant Ottawa County prosecutor Dave Boldt was handling the criminal cases. 

Boldt also declined to provide comment, respond to inquiries or provide public records related to the ongoing court cases. 

Gerber, Boldt and Mulligan all have refused to respond to the false arrest complaints from the employees and hotel officials, and they refuse to disclose if they intend to seek convictions. 

Two PIB Resort employees were charged with obstruction Sept. 24, 2013, after they refused to talk with Sgt. Korossy about the termination of another employee by the hotel managers. The woman who was fired was Korossy's girlfriend at the time, according to hotel officials, and Korossy demanded they immediately cut her a paycheck before he arrested and handcuffed them. 

Korossy arrested the hotel's general manager a day prior, charging her with obstruction after she did not immediately provide him a copy of a rental contract for a golf cart involved in a parking violation investigation Korossy was conducting.

Hotel employees and officials, and others, contend they have been the victims of ongoing police harassment for years directed by police Chief Ric Lampela after having disagreements with him in the past and raising concerns about police misconduct.

Korossy and Lampela have not responded to inquiries from the Register about the alleged harassment, the arrests, or why Korossy was investigating a civil matter at the hotel and whether his girlfriend was the alleged victim. 

Comments

LivinOnTheLake

Its not dodge, bob & weave, it is more likely STONEWALLING you media hacks so they don't have to answer, yet you keep writing articles about them. The definition of crazy is to continue to do something over and over and expect a different result PIB and Ottawa County Prosecutor aren't going to change how they do things just because the Register puts alittle pressure on them....just sayin

MrSandusky

This behavior is nothing new to Ottawa County. A few people tried to bring some light on this behavior back in 2004-2006. Couple of them spent sometime in jail because of it, one actually did prison time. All for trying to shed some light on what was really going on in Ottawa County, and to educate the citizens as too what was really going on.

Now the Ottawa County Officials have to be really scared. Instead of a couple bloggers doing it, it is the actual newspaper of record. Kind of hard to getting away with slandering the local newspaper in court documents, or to prosecute the local newspaper under some bogus charges.

Some Ottawa County Officials thought that they could keep getting away with this behavior, and now have stepped in a trap. A trap to which there is no possible escape. So they will keep stalling the public records releases and post comments under these stories under bogus names claiming that nothing is wrong and that the SR is delusional. All the while they are only treading water before they begin to sink in to the same ocean of corruption that Bratton ended up drowning in.

Julian

Who spent time in prison and jail for questioning the PD?

MrSandusky

I did not say it was the PD.

Digger-Nick

Credible sources say that Bratton is cooperating with a behind the scenes investigation that encompasses Mulligan, PIB Police and the Mayor. I suspect he negotiated this in his plea bargin. dig into this SR I smell a pretty big
Investigation!!!

Babo

Affirmative, but you omitted the courts and some other legal types are also targets.

Random Thoughts

"Two PIB Resort employees were charged with obstruction Sept. 24, 2013, after they refused to talk with Sgt. Korossy about the termination of another employee by the hotel managers"

If you listen to the video, when the male is arrested the officer says it's for "Unlawful Restraint" not obstruction.  Why does the Register say that both employees were charged with obstruction?  Also, I don't hear the police say anything on the video about a terminated employee, so where is that info coming from?  Mr. Westerhold, the Register's articles keep mentioning things in the police reports regarding these arrests. The reports therefore have obviously been made available to someone who is talking to the Register.  Why then can't (or won't) that person provide you a copy to post for all to see?  You can easily do this and still protect their identity.  I'm by no means taking sides. My only interest is learning the facts and making sure the correct facts are presented to your readers.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks Random. We haven't determined yet whether the reports have been released to hotel officials or not but will seek them that way if the police department, Wilber and Mulligan continue to ignore the requirements in the Ohio Revised Code. That too would prove a point, a public record is to made available upon request to anyone making the request. It generally can not be released in one instance and denied in another. Government entities are required to provide records, which are easily accessible to them The newspaper would prefer to get the report from the horse's mouth, as it were, in a proper manner. The information the Register has is that all three employees were charged with obstruction despite what Korossy can be heard saying on the surveillance video. Those questions could be answered quickly if the public records were to be released by the public officials accused of making the false arrests, as is required, despite their reluctance to do that.  

 

Babo

Also, their actual charges would have to be publicly available from Ottawa County Municipal Court in a Complaint signed under oath by the charging officer. It would be very helpful if the SR obtained the court records including the initial charge, the case docket and copies of pertinent filings such as discovery requests and disclosures of discovery.

The statutory speedy trials limit on a misdemeanor of the 1st degree is 90 days and obviously that limit was violated several months ago. This case reeks of selective prosecution and prosecutor misconduct. Any competent defense attorney should have moved to dismiss it months ago or at least moved to disqualify Mulligan and his office as they are necessary witnesses in the case having "authorized" the arrests and assisted in the "investigation" according to the video evidence. Moreover, Judge Hany should have tossed this case a long time ago.

It looks to me like the "legal mafia" of Ottawa County is putting pressure on defense counsel not to really defend his or her clients for fear of a dismissal or acquittal and a major verdict malicious prosecution and false arrest lawsuit that would be sure to follow.

Julian

I just want to make sure that I understand what is happening. So you, or one of your reporters physically walked into the PIB PD and asked for a copy of the police report from that day with that incident. They in turn, provided you with a document that only contained some of the information, without the arrested persons name's or charges? And they refused to give you anything else?

Random Thoughts

Matt, a Suggestion: Talk to your source(s) at the Resort, find out the names of the two arrested in the video (if you don't already have them), then look on the Ottawa County Municipal Court website to see what the charges are/were.  As for Ohio's Public Records laws, not that it matters much, I was a practicing attorney for over 35 years and am familiar with numerous "Sunshine" laws including those in Ohio, and while you are correct in some areas of your analysis of these laws, you are mistaken in other areas.  If I were you, I'd focus on getting the police reports from those charged or their attorneys.  It would save you a lot of grief (and arguments back and forth in these blogs).  

Random Thoughts

From the PC Newspaper in July:  "Lisa Cooper, 47, of Put-in-Bay, and Rikki Singstock, 23, of Southgate, Michigan, were charged with one misdemeanor count of obstructing official business. The Ottawa County Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the case against Singstock.
Eric Haines, 28, of Stow, was charged with one misdemeanor count each of theft and unlawful restraint."

The Ottawa County Court website confirms these were the charges.  Hope these facts help the Register's continued reporting of this story.

Babo

I found it interesting that Singstock and Haines though arrested back in September 2013 in the video; were not charged until 2-19-2014 by PIB police. Cooper's arrest also dates to September 2013 but she was charged within days.

Both Cooper and Haines are represented by Attorney Mark Petroff. Cooper's case has dragged on for almost a year while Haines is past 6 months. The dockets are not available.

If I were Singstock I would find a good civil rights attorney from out of the area and sue PIB for false arrest and malicious prosecution.

Big Bob

"If I were Singstock I would find a good civil rights attorney from out of the area and sue PIB for false arrest and malicious prosecution. "

dont hire debacco

Babo

[O]ut of the area" and "civil rights attorney" would eliminate DeBacco. She should look to the Cleveland area and hire someone with experience in federal police misconduct cases. Terry Gilbert is one possible candidate.

Big Bob

That's because the PC News Harold actually knows how to report...

Digger-Nick

The new fall guy just stepped up to the plate. Mulligans newest and least educated stooge

Big Bob

Why are you always so mad?

Digger-Nick

The new fall guy just stepped up to the plate. Mulligans newest and least educated stooge