Petitioning the governor

Families want action as Burdine case goes to a Sandusky County grand jury this week and a Patrol trooper has his first court hearing
Register
May 5, 2014

 

More than 1,200 people have signed an online petition asking Gov. John Kasich to invoke a state law that allows him to remove the Sandusky County sheriff and prosecutor from office. 

Sheriff Kyle Overmyer and Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt have both violated their oaths of office, according to critics, making decisions about criminal investigations that don't serve the public. 

Stierwalt recently decided to pursue a single charge against an Ohio Patrol officer accused of showing porn to a 12-year-old boy and masturbating with him. That decision came after a firestorm of criticism that started in January after Stierwalt decided then to drop the investigation and not pursue charges.

Patrol Sgt. Ricky Vitte Jr. is expected to attend his first hearing on charges of disseminating matter harmful to a juvenile today in Sandusky County Common Pleas Court. 

The petition to remove Stierwalt and Sheriff Overmyer is supported by the Justice for Jake & Ella group, and three other families that contend Sandusky County law enforcement leaders have systematically denied justice to them and other families through their actions, and non-actions. 

Read the petition

Jess Burdine and the Burdine family have been fighting local officials for more than six years after Burdine's son, Craig Burdine, died at the Sandusky County Jail on Aug. 11, 2007. The sheriff's office and the Fremont police both refused to conduct a criminal investigation after Craig Burdine's death, and information the Burdine family has gathered in the years since refutes the official story officials told about what occurred leading up to the death.

A Sandusky County grand jury is expected to begin hearing evidence gathered during a state investigation by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine over the last seven months. The Burdine family fears they're in for another whitewash of the facts, however, and are concerned about the process involved with a local grand jury given the family relationships of officials. Sheriff Overmyer's sister, Tracy Overmyer, is the county clerk of courts and a grand jury formed last year in another case involving the Limberios family was improperly seated.

Watch the most recent interview with Jess Burdine

The Justice for Jake & Ella group has expanded to include the Burdines, the family of Isabel Cordle, who was killed in January 1988, and a woman who contends Fremont police refused to pursue criminal charges against a man who raped her.

The group plans to attend the grand jury sessions this week and monitor the activity from outside the closed-door jury process, noting which witnesses are called to tesify in the Burdine case and which witnesses are not called. The Burdine family is concerned DeWine will not present all the evidence and the grand jury will not return indictments in the same way two previous grand juries responded to cases brought by DeWine. 

The peitition is a "call to arms," according to the families, who want Gov. Kasich to take immediate action. Signers of the petition have expressed similar dissatification with local officals. 

"Justice must be weighed on a equal non bias scale. Accountability is lost in Sandusky County, and Columbus, Ohio," Charles Meyer of Fremont wrote Sunday when he signed on to support the petition drive.

"It is now up to our governor to bring the issues in this case to light," wrote Connie Cornell of Elyria. 
 
The Register also will attend the Burdine grand jury hearings this week and will be providing live updates at sanduskyregister.com.
 
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The Register has reported the difficulties numerous families have experienced with Sandusky County officials and has discussed those concerns with Attorney General DeWine in detail, asking questions families have raised. Click on the links below to read more. 

 

Comments

Truth2u

Out of Sandusky County people should be able to sign it, are they allowed?

After all, many of us must travel through that county and whats to stop their corruption from being applied to an outsider of the County?

And if John doesn't do anything I would hope the Feds get involved.

Truth or Dare

My question exactly Truth2u! Must we be a resident of Sandusky County to sign? Does working within it count for something? Thanks SR for the link to the petition site. The video by J4JE was absolutely beautiful! Thoughts and prayers remain with these families.

Ctwhalers

Anybody can sign petition no matter where you live.

Ctwhalers

Plus it does not matter if you live in Sandusky county or not we want people to show up Tuesday thru Friday 8 -9 3-5 for a rally of support and to let Mike DeWine and the officials there know enough is enough.Be not afraid to come out. Make them afraid with eleelections coming up. Justice for jake& ella on facebook has more about this event. The more that show up bigger the voice will be.