Kasich, FitzGerald duck tough questions

Dueling spokespeople for governor, opponent, explain why candidates aren't commenting
Sandusky Register Staff
May 30, 2014

 

Who speaks for the governor? 

Rob Nichols, according to Gov. John Kasich's campaign. 

"Rob and I serve as the governor's spokespeople for the official office and the campaign, respectively," Kasich campaign spokeswoman Connie Wehrkamp told the Register Friday morning. "Rob's response is the governor's response."

But Nichols provided little comment when asked about a petition to the governor requesting him to invoke state law that gives him the power to remove county sheriffs and county prosecutors from office for official misconduct.

Nichols said elections were the proper process to remove public officials, declining comment on what the purpose might be for the statute that empowers the governor to take action.   

Kasich did not offer any comment, and Nichols declined to say whether the governor had reviewed the information families that support the petition have provided.

Wehrkamp deferred to Nichols. 

"Rob has spoken to the paper about all of this," she said.

But Nichols did not address the questions asked of the governor about the petition and the families.

About 1,300 people have signed the petition. The Justice for Jake & Ella group, which has expanded to include other families impacted by decisions in Sandusky County, has nearly 20,000 followers at its Facebook page. 

Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald also ducked comment about the grand jury hearings currently underway in Sandusky County in the 2007 death of Craig Burdine, and the allegations from other families that county law enforcement officials mishandled criminal investigations. The Burdine family contends Craig Burdine was the victim of a homicide and law enforcement officials covered up what occurred.

The family also fears DeWine is limiting what gets presented to the grand jury because he wants to avoid criminal indictments. DeWine has not called any of the forensic pathologists who reviewed the death, or responded to questions about a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that appears to require a deadly force investigation be conducted if Tasers are used on a handcuffed person, which is what happened to Burdine just moments before he died. 

FitzGerald spokeswoman Lauren Hitt told the Register earlier today the Democratic candidate for governor was declining comment. She did not say whether FitzGerald had reviewed the information about the families that was sent to him. 

The Register has reported the difficulties numerous families have experienced with Sandusky County officials and has discussed those concerns with Attorney General Mike DeWine in detail, asking questions families have raised.

DeWine said he would look at the concerns further and review the Ohio Revised Code to determine what action the attorney general's office was authorized to consider. 

But DeWine has not followed up or offered further comment.

The Kasich and FItzGerald campaigns also were provided the same information with the most recent requests made to both men for comment.

Click on the links below to read more. 

 

Comments

Blue.Streaker

The Sandusky Register, and Matt's groupies, are like some religious fanatics knocking at the front door. They are so very sure they have the only path to salvation, and they cannot understand why everyone won't see things their way.

People like Kasich, DeWine, the FBI, and anyone else with actual power are like the homeowner peeking through the curtains to see if you are gone yet. They don't give a rat's ass what you have to say or what you have to show them. They don't even care if you might actually be right. They just want you to get off their porch and away from their front door.

The vast majority of people look at your eight tales of corruption listed above, and say "Except for Mrs. Cordle and the kid with the trooper (who has been fired and is being prosecuted) they all contributed to their misfortune by drinking too much or using drugs. This is a valuable lesson to other young people about drugs and drinking."

That is all.

Stop It

That's a fairly broad brush you paint with.

Gunholdjr

You're exactly right Bluestreaker. And the amusing part of it are the smarmy put-downs Westerhold uses to try to discredit those who don't drink the kool aid. It would be one thing if the guy were riling up the hoi polloy just for the sake of selling more papers, but his grade school style smackdowns make me wonder of he actually believes the crap he is peddling. If you fight with cops, shoot defective handguns underage or get wasted out of your mind on alcohol or drugs you lose the benefit of doubt.

Laughingatwttb

20,000 followers and only 1,300 signatures on the petition. Those are the numbers you're reporting, so let that sink in for a minute.

Matt Westerhold

Is there a magic number, Laughing? Is it 21,000 followers and 1,500 signatures. or 28,000 followers and 2,000 signatures? How many have to express dissatisfaction with what they know, that you comment on, knowing little about their personal experiences? 

Laughingatwttb

You would be laughing as it seems you've lost touch with reality. There will NEVER be a perfect system nor will everyone be pleased with every outcome. Before things can change people need to change their behavior. Criminals included along with law enforcement. You seem to be believe that we live in a perfect society and that all decisions made will please everyone. Wake up that's never going to happen. Any dealings I've had with the sheriffs office or prosecutors office hasn't always been pleasant but I don't have an expectation that I will always get my way or that I'm always right.

Julian

How many of those 28,000 people have jumped the bandwagon because of your 100+ cop-bashing articles?

Matt Westerhold

Thanks Julian. If the articles you refer to were never published, Craig Burdine would still be dead. If the articles you refer to were never published, Bryan Jones would still be dead. If the articles you refer to were never published, the inane and incorrect ruling on Jacob Limberios' death certificate would still be incorrect. If the articles you refer to were never published Ohio Patrol officer Ricky Vitte likely would never have faced criminal charges. It's the actions of those involved that generated the growing opposition, not the coverage of it.

Julian

I agree with you about the vitte case. I do believe that the coverage contributed to the right thing eventually being done.

That being said, the concern is in the way the coverage has been with these other cases you've mentioned. There has been a clear bias towards the people involved without due care in explaining the cases with objectivity. Influencing readers towards one side , I believe, has contributed to the large amount of petitioners, and thus negatively impacts the overall fairness to the issues. My concern is that the "growing opposition" has been lead to disagree outright with every case based on this bias.

Is this a fair point? What are your thoughts on that?

Matt Westerhold

See the comment directly above, Julian:  "It's the actions of those involved that generated the growing opposition, not the coverage of it."