Petition drive picks up steam

Pace of people signing on to call for Stierwalt and Overmyer to be removed doubled Wednesday; dozens leave comments asking Kasich to take action
Register
Mar 20, 2014

Update March 19, 2014: An additional 200 people signed an online petition Wednesday asking Gov. John Kasich to invoke a state law that allows him to remove Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer and county Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt from office. 

Many are leaving comments urging Kasich to help. 

"I live in Sandusky County and have had a horrible experience with the Sheriff's Department. They don't care about right or wrong, just how much muscle they can show,"  Sandra Weatherspoon, of Vickery, wrote after signing the petition.

Read the petition

"Too many crimes have fallen through the cracks. Someone needs to be held accountable," Debi Eversole of Castalia wrote.

"These men are here to serve and protect and instead do the opposite," Ashley Mancour, Clyde, posted. 

"Kyle Overmyer has shown blatant disregard for the citizens of Sandusky County, while promoting his own interests in the Jones and Limberios cases. He also has chosen not to properly address the numerous scandals at the jail involving officers and sexual acts with inmates. Now we have a suicide in the jail…who is taking responsibility for that or is it going to be swept under the rug as well? I believe that there will be nothing done about this, unless provoked by the public," wrote Shelly Mills, of Fremont. 

"I grew up in Fremont," Keith Harris of Port Clinton wrote after signing the petition asking for Gov. Kasich's help. "The County is ran by who-knows-who-politics. If you don't 'fit in' they remove you."

"It's important because it is blatantly clear there are deep-rooted issues in Sandusky County," Diane Lowery of Sandusky wrote. "If this is not apparent to those receiving this petition then we have bigger issues in Ohio."

Was Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's grand jury tainted? Get Friday's Register for an update. Click here for the ePaper, for home delivery or buy the Register every day at a newsstand near you. 

Some supporters of Overmyer and Stierwalt are leaving anonymous comments at news articles about the petition drive and other news stories at sanduskyregister.com. One of them suggested jail guards who sexually exploited a mentally ill female inmate who was denied her medication were also at the same time attempting get her medications for her while they were exploiting her. 

"So how do you say she was denied her medications? Did they or did they not make attempts to contact a family member to get them, if they did how does that constitute her being denied her medications?" the anonymous commenter Simple Enough II posted at sandusyregister.com.

Another anonymous commenter supporting Stierwalt and Overmyer at the newspaper's comments section suggested he was unconcerned about the deaths of two people when they came into contact with sheriff's deputies.

"I wish we could get some answers about why the Register loves criminals so much," PapaJoe wrote on Wednesday in the comments section. "Bryan Jones and Craig Burdine both had long criminal histories and a record of violence."

"Long criminal histories" is an overstatement, but the families of both Burdine and Jones contend previous contacts with local police and sheriff's deputies likely played a role in their deaths. 

Another resident called the Register Wednesday, leaving a message suggesting it should not be reporting about the petition drive or the numerous other scandals plaguing county officials. 

"Stay out of Sandusky County," she said. "We don't need your reporting here." 

Stierwalt and Overmyer have ignored repeated requests for comment. 

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Update March 18, 2014: An online petition asking the governor to invoke a state law to force Stierwalt and Overmyer out has averaged about 100 signatures a day during the first three days since it's been posted. Many of the people signing onto the petition are leaving comments with the reasons they support the effort.

"Every one is accountable for their actions and as an official they should be held to a higher standard," Carolyn Stuart, of Columbus, posted after signing the petition at Change.org

"I live in Sandusky County and I have first-hand witnesses (to) the Sandusky County Sheriff's department inadequacy. I feel they think they are all above the law," Carla Dupont of Vickery wrote. "They need a restructuring starting at the top." 

"I feel that Sandusky County has failed to follow through with their investigations in these cases. They did not collect evidence or order an autopsy in the Jacob Limberios case," Theresa Burris of Huron posted. "I feel there is enough evidence to show they have failed to keep the people in their jail safe, and protect them ... Someone needs to be held responsible for the conduct of the employees of Sandusky County before anyone else gets hurt."

"Failure of justice is a failure in America's foundation and a building with a flawed foundation can not stand the test of time," Tamera Stacy, of Castalia, posted after signing the petition. 

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Original article posted March 17, 2014: The Justice for Jake & Ella group has filed a petition asking Ohio Gov. John Kasich to remove Sandusky County Prosecutor Tom Stierwalt and Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer from office "for failure to perform their duties as required by law." 

The petition is posted at the group's Facebook page and includes support from three other families impacted by decisions made by Stierwalt and Overmyer.

The family of Craig Burdine, who died at the Sandusky County Jail shortly after he was brought there in August 2007 has signed onto the petition drive. Family members of Isabel Cordle, who was brutally killed in January 1988 and an alleged rape victim who contends Fremont police did nothing to bring her assailant to justice also have joined the group.

The petition asks the governor to use the power granted him in the Ohio Revised Code to remove Stierwalt and Overmyer from office, and they are promoting the petition at the group's Facebook page under the banner "Stand Up for Justice and Accountability in Sandusky County."

The petition was posted at Justice for Jake & Ella page Sunday evening and had garnered more than 50 signatures by early this morning.

Read the petition

The petition asks Gov. Kasich to "file a formal complaint under Ohio Revised Code 3.08 seeking removal of the Sandusky County Prosecutor (Tom Stierwalt) and the Sandusky County Sheriff (Kyle Overmyer) for failure to fulfill their duties in investigating and prosecuting crimes occurring in Sandusky County. 

"RC 3.08 allows the Governor to file a complaint in the Common Pleas Court in the County seeking removal of county officials who have abused their offices, starting a process whereby evidence can be presented by each side to support their position."

See the Justice for Jake & Ella page

The Justice for Jake & Ella Facebook page has more than 19,000 followers and the petition also asks "other families of victims of abuse occurring in Sandusky County to lend their voices in support of this cause to sign this petition to the governor."

"In numbers there is strength," the petition reads. "We need every fair-minded person who seeks justice to join this effort. We can effect change, but only when we are united."

According to the petition, the state law cited, ORC 3.08, allows "the governor to initiate a process whereby the effected officials can defend themselves from accusations of misconduct (and) allow them a full and fair opportunity to be heard.”

Stierwalt and Overmyer were not immediately available for comment. 

Check back here for updates as they become available. 

The Register has reported the difficulties numerous families have experienced with Sandusky County officials. Click on the links below to read more. 

• Death of Lee Naus

• Isabel Cordle

• Trooper's sex lesson

• Stabbed, beaten burned & zapped

• Bryan Jones

• Limberios shooting saga

• Craig Burdine

• Sexploited jail inmate

Comments

Babo

They were very minor issues related to her schizophrenia. She need mental/medical attention not incarceration.

DGMutley

Um, what? They were unsubstantiated complaints!

Babo

Thanks for the correction.

Simple Enough II

I don't believe they were, I believe if I recall correctly she did that infront of a store clerk who corroborated it.

DGMutley

She was falsely charged as evidenced by the very recollection you bring up!

Matt Westerhold

Thanks CITY43420. You're making suggestions about "poor journalism" without providing any information to support those suggestions. Generally, when people die in police custody, newspapers write about that, or when a person is shot dead in his home, newspapers write about that. When lawsuits are filed against the county for alleged wrongdoing, newspapers write about that. You also suggest the SR should "just leave Sandusky County alone," which seems to mean the newspaper, in your opinion, should not do its job and simply look the other way. The only thing that's unusual here is the number of families that have complained about Sandusky County officials and the number of lawsuits that have been filed. You might feel differently, perhaps, if you had a family member who was mentally ill and you learned she was denied her medication and allegedly sexually exploited by Sandusky County jail guards for hours in an observational jail cell. Maybe not. 

holysee

Keep up the outstanding work Matt. A quality journalist is very rare, and indeed very dangerous to those investigated. CITY43420 is a typical apologizer for Sandco and thinks there is nothing to see here move along now! I say the corruption exposed so far really only scratches the surface.

Thank you Sandusky Register for hiring a great journalist.
Give Westerhold a raise!

I used to read the news mess in Fremont for some occasional sparse local "news reporting".
Does the news mess still even exist?
I haven't looked in a very long time.

CITY43420

A "Quality" Journalist would find out the facts before printing.. There are WAY more to each and everyone of these stories that people do not know and unfortunately may never know because of privacy. And I will have you know that I support my beautiful county and our LE because without them some of us wouldn't be here today..

Can the SR print anything good about our county? Like our farmers markets? The continued support for Fire Prevention, Drunk Driving and Texting Campaigns that are enforced in our schools even at the Elementary level? The knowing almost each and every Sheriff and City Cop on a personal bases because they are out in the community showing their support because of a tragedy or severe weather that caused damage?

See these are things that aren't reported however should be...

DickTracey

I printed something for your zip code today! It was on the NAMBLA website.

Attention all pedophiles come to Sandusky County, specifically 43420, the prosecutor and City43420 see nothing wrong with you guys masturbating with the 12 year old boys! Free love Fremont! No penalty for watching porn with little boys!

Jmschmidt812

You must be a member since you seem to reference that organization in other comment sections.

Jakes Dad

City, I have only ever asked for an open and transparent investigation. I have nothing to hide behind with "privacy". If there is anything you need or want to know just ask. There is a Facebook page "Justice for Jake and Ella" in place for you to do that. We have downloads of facts for you, as does the SR. City, I think we are a lot alike, we want the same things...to report on all of the good things in Sandusky County. You can help with this by liking and sharing the Justice for Jake and Ella Facebook page and most importantly, signing the petition to fix this matter so we can focus on the good in Sandusky County.

Simple Enough II

So how do You say she was denied her medications? Did they or did they not make attempts to contact a family member to get them, if they did how does that constitute her being denied her medications?

Matt Westerhold

Are you actually asking that question, Simple Enough? Really? I would guess, based on the reports, the priority was not getting her the medication. The priority, it seems clear, was to sexually exploit her for hours while they allowed her to be kept naked in an observational jail cell. Do you really think, really, they would be seeking to use this woman for their own sexual gratification while she was in their care, custody and control, and also be concerned enough for her well-being to also make sure she had the medications she needed? Really? You've reached a new low.

John Harville

how about the woman who died in Sandusky Police Custody of an overdose because no one checked her meds?

And the guy who had drugs in his underwear because he never was properly checked?

Seems there's some to go around.

holysee

CITY43420 you are wrong and you know it. They DESERVE to loose their jobs. The high-up repugs will rehire them for other county govt jobs anyway. No jobs lost here.

CITY43420

So you have never made a mistake? You have never accidentally done something and tried to cover it up with something else? You have never let someone take the fall for you? I am so tired of everyone acting like they are perfect and have done nothing wrong EVER in their lifetime!

holysee

NICE TRY. These are not mistakes but cover ups and entrenched corruption. Grow up.

DickTracey

Yes, one time I made a MISTAKE and I crushed a guys esophagus with my knee and 250 pounds of pressure.

Then I made a mistake and blasted 27 shots through a passed out guys body.

Then one time there were these kids drinking and shooting a gun, and I made the mistake of not collecting all the evidence from the crime scene, and the evidence I did get I LOST!

There was another time I was babysitting a naked girl and I made a mistake and talked dirty to her on the microphone, and then accidentally texted my buddies to brag about it.

One time, this prosecutor made a mistake and accidentally talked to a pervert pedophile for like five minutes on the phone!

This other mistake, my buddies and I were at a bar, where a kid passed out in the parking lot so we thought it would be cool to prank him, we tossed him in the dumpster! It was just a mistake though, not planned, we weren't in the bar laughing about it before hand.

But crap, everybody makes mistakes, nobody is perfect. When I am feeling down about my mistakes, I take my mind off of it by turning on some porn and inviting the little neighbor boy over to watch it with me while we knock of a little steam together.

bdid.d519

@DickTracey, that about sums it up perfectly! I bet you are super sorry though right? It's only going to take one of these weak links to crack, then the whole chain will fall apart!

Simple Enough II

Hey DT where do you get your info?

Simple Enough II

Lol, the prosecutor is a Democrat!

Jmschmidt812

That'll never happen. It's like a dog with a bone now. I understand these families have questions but the reporter has done them a great deal of harm with his constant attacks on the county. He's gone after everyone from the mayor all the way down to the common joe right here in the comments section. If I was a county employee I wouldn't give comment to him either. They should continue doing what their doing, they want something give them the paperwork and that's all. They do not need to comment on anything or to anyone. Even if they did it wouldn't be the right answers for everyone.

holysee

Since when is being persistent translated as an "attack"?
Rock on Westerhold and the SR. ROCK ON!

Jmschmidt812

It turns to attacks when you make comments based off of opinion and not fact, or print half stories to slant the article, or show bias when reporting. So go grab another glass of kool-aid

Jakes Dad

jmschmid812 I want to see the paperwork!

Jakes Dad

jmschmid812 I want to see the paperwork!

Jmschmidt812

Go thru and read the articles he wrote in the opinions sections. I'm sure you can read and you can do a little research on your own. He wrote an article demanding Sandusky county show respect. That entire article fell a little shy of calling them corrupt and printing as much.

Jakes Dad

Are the articles about when they were digging my boy for the 2nd time ? or when we had to lay him to rest for the 3rd time? I might have missed that one.But I am sure Ella will see it when she reads these blogs.

CatsAreTheBest419

City43420 I thought I was the only one on here that felt that way. I guess there are more common sense people out there that actually read this paper. Glad to have you aboard.

nosey rosey

Kinda funny when the parents aren't defending the actions of the careless son.

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