Click video player at end of text to hear BCI interview with Sandusky County coroner John Wukie.
The man fired as criminal prosecutor in the Jacob Limberios investigation wants proof statements from him published in the Register were accurate before he’ll offer further comment about an ethics complaint allegedly filed by the Ohio Attorney General.
“I told you that I will expand on my earlier comments as soon as you produce any evidence you have that supports prior statements attributed to me,” Henry wrote in an email to the Register on Monday, suggesting the Register “would be lying to its readers” if it reported he declined further comment.
Henry’s initial comment was “bullshit,” when asked about a reference to him in Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s report of his investigation of Jake’s death.
“Are you making that up, as well?” Henry asked in response to the the inquiry.
The Register did not make up the references in the AG’s report. Those specific references concern an interview conducted by Bureau of Criminal Investigation special agent Charlie Snyder with Sandusky County coroner John Wukie. Snyder’s report indicated the Oct. 10 interview had been delayed and Wukie raised several concerns.
Check at sanduskyregister.com for updates with the audio of Wukie’s interview when it becomes available.
In one reference in Snyder’s report, Wukie seems unsure whether Henry can represent him as legal counsel during an interview. He told Snyder “because of possible conflicts in this capacity, Henry has requested the issuance of an opinion from the Ohio Bar Association,” Snyder’s report states.
In another reference, Snyder says Wukie wanted to know “why and how the Ohio Attorney General’s office filed an ethics complaint against attorney Henry.”
Henry told the Register he would expand on his “bullshit” comment after the Register provided him written or recorded confirmation of the quotes previously attributed to him. He suggested the quotes were inaccurate or taken out of context and the Register’s coverage of the Limberios story has been unfair and biased against public officials.
The quotes were verified by the reporters and editors and Henry has not provided a discernable basis for his concerns that would warrant a correction.
One quote concerned comments attributed to Henry after Dr. Cyril Wecht conducted an autopsy for the Limberios family. His concern was reported in this excerpt from a subsequent news article posted at sanduskyregister.com on March 5:
Henry became agitated when asked by a reporter in late January about Wecht’s autopsy. ‘They bought and paid for their expert... (and) they got the results they paid for,’ he stated. Henry called the reporter Jan. 29, the day a story containing the statement published and suggested it had been taken out of context because an ellipsis and parenthesis were used. The statement was not taken out of context, and Henry did not suggest what other contextual basis might have existed.
Henry did not appear to refute the statement on the same day he contacted the reporter with his complaint — Jan. 29 — when he responded to an email from Limberios family attorney Dan McGookey.
“There will be no apology of any kind, public or otherwise,” Henry replied to McGookey’s demand he retract the statement. “I offer no apologies for telling the truth or stating facts.”
The other, more recent statement attributed to Henry he disputes was included in an editorial page column published Dec. 16. Henry appears to be acknowledging he said Dr. Wukie “has not had an opportunity to review the reports from the attorney general. (The coroner’s) investigation is still very much open.”
He refutes a portion of the column, however, that paraphrased that statement, suggesting it meant Wukie needed more time.
After a four-month investigation, DeWine’s office determined in November that Jacob’s death was the result of an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound. The investigation also determined the gun to be defective, with a hair trigger. Wukie, who ruled Jacob’s March 2, 2012, death a suicide, has not changed the death certificate.
Henry was hired by the county in September 2012 to represent Wukie in a lawsuit filed by the family that seeks to have the death certificate changed. He does not appear to have invoiced the county for his services, however, since April.
An attorney with a private practice in Tiffin, Henry was appointed special criminal prosecutor in November 2012 by Sandusky County judges Barbara Ansted and John Dewey, but was later fired by a visiting judge who cited obvious conflicts of interests with Henry serving as both defense counsel and criminal prosecutor.
He refused to comment or provide a timetable for when Wukie will make a decision about the death certificate. Henry also stated he does not have any public records related to an opinion from the Ohio Bar Association or the referenced ethics complaint, or any recent invoices for his services.
DeWine’s office declined to provide information about the ethics complaint reference in Snyder’s report.
“Pursuant to Rule 5(11)(E) of the Supreme Court Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio, I cannot comment on possible referrals for discipline,” AG spokesman Dan Tierney stated, responding to a request for information from the Register.
Note: This post has been modified to include the entire text of the print edition.