The Fremont News-Messenger is reporting that Mike and Shannon Limberios are seeking a new attorney in their battle against Sandusky County officials who mishandled their son's death investigation.
“I wanted to make you aware that Dan McGookey is no longer representing Mike and I as counsel,” Shannon Limberios wrote in a Jan. 16 email to attorney Dean Henry, the newspaper reported late Tuesday. “We are currently in the process of seeking another firm for representation.”
"We are very thankful to Dan and his law firm for their passion they brought to our cause," a post on Tuesday at the group's Facebook Page states
. "They will continue to be a HUGE supporters and helping to make sure this does not happen to any other family."
The News Messenger obtained the email from Dean Henry, who has acted as special prosecutor and defense counsel for Sandusky County, after a public records request from the newspaper.
Henry has worked closely with Sandusky County sheriff's Captain Sean O'Connell during the last nearly 15 months after former Sandusky County sheriff's detective Jim Consolo refused to continue an investigation he had just started when Sandusky County coroner John Wukie asked him to conduct the investigation without being critical of Sheriff Kyle Overmyer, according to documents from the Ohio Attorney General.
Consolo had told Wukie previously he would investigate the case only if he were allowed to conduct a full, fair and honest investigation, according to the AG's documents.
O'Connell said after he took over as lead investigator that local officials didn't want Consolo conducting the investigation because Consolo wasn't a "team player."
Henry has not provided responsive replies to public records requests from the Register and has favored the News Messenger's coverage, suggesting it has asked "all the right questions, and (was) trying to stick with the facts."
The article in the News Messenger published hours after the Register reported
information about an Ohio State trooper who has been represented in two previous domestic violence cases by Dean Henry in the past. At least two protection orders against the trooper were issued, but Henry was able to successfully get one order vacated and have the other modified so the trooper could still carry a weapon.
He also appears to have successfully negotiated plea bargains for the trooper, getting the two previous domestic violence charges reduced to one charge of child endangerment, allowing the trooper to keep his job. The trooper allegedly spanked a 5-year-old boy until his butt was bruised and bleeding and then head-butted the boy's mother when she became upset.
The trooper was recently investigated again, by O'Connell, for allegedly watching pornography and masturbating with a pre-teen boy. Sandusky County prosecutor Tom Stierwalt decided earlier this month that no charges would be filed against the trooper since Stierwalt believed it was unlikely he could get a conviction because the trooper appears to have been teaching the boy how to masturbate.
It's unknown at this time whether Henry and O'Connell worked together in that investigation, with Henry again serving as the trooper's defense counsel.
Henry has refused to provide the Register with documents regarding his authorization for continued involvement in the Limberios case or emails the Register has requested from him that he's acknowledged receiving regarding his activities monitoring the Register's readers comment section.
He also is not charging the county for his services, or he is simply refusing to provide documents that would confirm what he is charging taxpayers. It's not clear whether the News Messenger has asked for or received those records, or whether Henry considers those "the right questions."
The Register is requesting the Ohio Attorney General's public records mediation unit for assistance in helping Henry understand and comply with its previous public records requests.
Wukie appears to still believe Jacob Limberios committed suicide despite the findings of the Ohio Attorney General's investigation, which determined Jacob Limberios died on March 2, 2012, as the result of an accidental, self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“Despite the opinion that this was all accidental, the information (Wukie) got form the report suggested the initial suicide ruling was correct,” Henry told the News Messenger.
"Suicide. Gunshot wound to head. Deceased shot self in head, may not have realized the gun was loaded."
None of the witnesses who were in the home where Jake was killed, nor anyone else, appear to believe Jake killed himself.