Family wants judges to step aside

Citing court rules and conflicts, attorney Dan McGookey plans to file a motion today asking Sandusky County judges Barbara Ansted and John Dewey to step aside in Limberios criminal investigation.
Apr 22, 2013


Ansted and Dewey appointed Tiffin attorney Dean Henry to serve as special prosecutor in the criminal investigation in early February, despite his role as defense counsel representing the county. 

"The circumstances make it clear that judges Ansted and Dewey cannot continue to preside over the criminal investigation under the rules governing judicial conduct," McGookey said Monday morning, preparing to file the motion asking them to remove themselves.

Click here to read the court filing.

Get Tuesday's Register for update on the court administrator's meeting with a key witness. Click here for the ePaper, for home delivery or buy the Register daily at a newsstand near you. 

McGookey contends court administrator Brock Kimmet met with a key witness during a break in a deposition of the witness in February. He provided affidavits from from witnesses who were in a courthouse hallway who stated in the sworn statements they heard Kimmet tell the witness to "stick to her story." 

The meeting was improper, according to McGookey.

"Under the rules of professional conduct, which apply to the court and court staff, it's prohibited for the court or staff member to meet with a witness and discuss a matter without all parties being notified and given the opportunity to be present," McGookey said. "That's an ex parte communication, which is directly prohibited."

Kimmet has said no meeting took place, but referred to a court security issue without providing any details as to how that might relate to the purported meeting. He has not responded to calls and inquiries seeking clarification. 

Judges Ansted and Dewey have not returned phone calls or responded to inquiries seeking comment or clarification. 

Dean Henry has provided little comment or clarification on his dual role as prosecutor and defense counsel, an arrangement legal scholars and experts have said is problematic with conflicting responsibilities. 

The Limberios family also wants Henry removed as special prosecutor and have him turn over the probe to an independent agency. McGookey asked that a decision be made on Tuesday, during a scheduled court hearing.

Click here for related stories.

Want to go

What: Limberios death probe court hearing

When: 1:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Sandusky County Courthouse, 128 Park, Fremont 


Kottage Kat

Thank you SR. Keep the pressure on, this corruption has got to be addressed. It is heartbreaking for the Limberios family. With the journalistic tenacity and exposure of the dastardly deeds of those given a position of public trust, Jake's death will not be in vain
Press on.


money maker


Absolutely agree, mikel. The Register is loving it. I got banned for pointing it out earlier. They want to paint themselves as well as Attorney McGookey as some sort of crusaders on the side of right but we, as readers, shouldn't overlook the financial aspect of their efforts.

There's nothing wrong with wanting to make a buck but don't pretend it's not part of the reason why the Register is covering this case the way it is. They may have other reasons but please stop the "holier than thou" attitude", Matt, that business isn't part of your coverage. Money maker is absolutely right. There's more than just two of us who see it that way.

That's my opinion and not a "misstatement" of any fact whatsoever so there should be absolutely no legitimate reason to block my comment. Of course, the media always like to stand behind their right to free speech when they say ridiculous things but are quick to deny the same right to others. What a bunch of hypocrites.


jas and mikel. You two need to give it up. Will this make the SR money? Of Course. So does every other silly article about gun control that the conservatives blow up the comment section for. But you two vehemently are against anything to do with this issue? Any reason why? Sure, it will make money. Maybe, to you, they are beating a dead horse. But to the family, they are spreading awareness and not letting it be swept under the rug. I'm sure the family and friends of Jake do not feel like they are being "used" for the SR to make money. They have been cooperating and providing the SR with details to make sure this case sees the light of day, where Sandusky County is trying to keep it all hidden and not admit their wrongdoings. Can you two rebut that?


Those involved on behalf of the county should be ashamed and embarrassed by this case! It continues to get more ridiculous by the minute! I do not understand how this can STILL be going on, in light of the evidence and inconsistencies from day one. Suck it up Sandusky County, and admit you made a mistake. Quit dragging Jacob's family through this fresh hell with each passing day and review the evidence already in your possession (that which you haven't allowed to be destroyed!). And remember this, Sandusky/Erie County voters when these folks come up for re-election! The next botched investigation could involve your loved one or friend! JUSTICE FOR JACOB!


I cannot believe that things in this case have gone this far. WHAT is everyone trying to hide?!

Julie R.

"Under the rules of professional conduct, which apply to the court and the court's staff, it's prohibited for the court or the court's staff to meet with a witness and discuss a matter without all parties being notified and given the opportunity to be present," McGookey said. "That's an ex-parte communication, which is directly prohibited."

He's right on there. OHIO LAW flatly prohibits that illegal crap.

As an afterthought, the judges and their staff in Sandusky County sound so much like the ones in Erie County they could be clones.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Off-topic comments.

Julie R.

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information.


really? when are YOU (SR) going to stop prostituting this topic?


mikel, that would require the Register to have some professional ethics. I don't see it happening any time soon.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Profane, obscene, sexual or derogatory language.


hey sr, how about this one? it is no more on topic than the post of mine that was deleted.


don't get your panties in a twist. I had comments removed before and life goes on. remember, we can comment but its the Sandusky registers sandbox and, fair or not they make the rules..

John Harville

Conflict of Interest is status quo in Sandusky County.
Remember Ansted simultaneously was (1) judge in Todd Helm's Criminal Trial (Dean Henry was his attorney) AND (2) judge in the divorce of Todd and Rosemary Helms - which involved his pension as mandatory part of the divorce settlement that had to be determined before determining how much of his pension was available for restitution.

Let's not forget her extended family still is in an extended lawsuit against Rex Damschroder's family and Fremont Airport for the air crash that killer her husband, daughter, grandchild....


John Harville, good comments. You have it right.


hey sr, how about this one? it is no more on topic than the post of mine that was deleted.


Why attack Judge Ansted and her personal situation! She has nothing to do with this sad situation. Pray for the Limberos family and lets hope the sandusky register will stop their extreme agenda!


That sounds a bit two faced, freedom12. Are you intentionally trying to sound like Dean Henry, or is that sarcasm?


The thing that really sucks about this whole thing is that this has gone on for to long and know if a new investigation is granted , what can they investigate that hasnt either been tossed or lost and just over looked and now will not be found to really prove anything .
This is sad that this family has to go through this stress just to find thr truth about their son and how he died .
A new investigation would be great if the case was newer and evidence was abtained in the manner it should have been .
And if the people handling this was handling acording to law . Thats why we have rules to assist in the investigation to seek out the truth .
I have heard the Doctor in pittsburgh say that this was murder and now who knows if the investigation is done and its proved to be right , who knows if they will ever bring the person or persons to trial let alone get a conviction .
Any defense lawyer can prove resonable doubt . just cause of the way the case was investigated not to mention the rullings that have been handed down from the Sandusky County Officials

Julie R.

McGookey says the rules for professional conduct prohibit courts or the court's staff to meet with a witness and discuss a matter without all parties being notified and given the opportunity to be present.

That's not just a rule for professional conduct, that's also a LAW. The LAW states that "the presence of all parties, with or without an attorney, are required at any and all hearings." There's also a LAW that states "a court can not render a decision in a case until all complaints have been addressed and resolved."

The courts on the 2nd floor of the Erie County courthouse sure don't follow those laws, so I don't know why it would surprise Mr. McGookey or anybody else that the courts in Sandusky County don't, either.