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

DickTracey

Are you referring to Paul Overmyer?

holysee

So ARE you referring to Paul Overmyer?

DGMutley

You're talking about Jake. I don't think he had the gun or fired the gun that cost him his life. All three of the witnesses should have been charged with negligent homicide or involuntary manslaughter. My opinion.

sash

Based on what evidence? There needs to be evidence before someone is charged, let alone convicted. Charging anyone with no evidence isn't justice, it's a kangaroo court. The police have been poorly trained on procedure, and that falls squarely on the sheriff, and the coroner is an egocentric idiot. Poor job performance does not equal misconduct.

Jakes Dad

Your right sash.do not look at the science. If Jake was killed just a mile down the road I think there would be no SR blog for you to comment on.Does not equal misconduct? Good luck with that!But you have hope go to the Justice for Jake@Ella facebook page.

Babo

@ Sash: You state: "Poor job performance does not equal misconduct". Actually poor performance and failure to train both qualify as misconduct/malfeasance in office and or depending on the severity a variety of crimes such as dereliction of duty, obstruction of justice, and or tampering with witness.

These are public officers and are held to a higher standard and or accountable to the people they are supposed to serve. As such the Press and public have important roles under our Constitution in monitoring the conduct of public officers. All of us (especially the press) are encouraged and protected by the First Amendment to ensure public officers perform their duties with integrity to preserve our way of life.

red white and blue

Only people that are careless are sandusky county officials and anyone on here defending them either are them themself or @$$ ki $$ nosey rosey^^lets stick to the real problems and not make comments that make no sense or merit!

holysee

Hear, hear!

FreBerg2

Matt
I'm so proud of you for your last comment. You use allegedly sexually exploited instead of the usual form of slander of just saying Sexually Exploited. (If you need examples see links above.) Anyways being a proud resident of Sandusky County and the City of Fremont I find it ridiculous the amount of time and effort people have put in to destroying Mr. Overmyer or anyone involved in these stories. I find City to be quite funny. But before we all go on and sign this petition to remove these men from office lets look at these cases. Lets start with the register favorite the "Limberios shooting saga". To start off I don't agree with how the investigation was handle, but I do believe even it was handle correctly the results would be the same. I agree with the family to push for a change of suicide to accident but other than that I feel like your beating a dead dog. Unless Mr Overmyer gave the gun to Jake I don't feel like he needs to be removed from office. Lets be Honest the only person responsible for Jakes death is whoever gave him that gun. Whether or not you believe he shot himself he obviously wasn't responsible enough to own a handgun which the law requires you to be 21 to own not 19. So someone gave it to him. So if your looking for "Justice" lets start there.

Secondly Brian Jones. Lets not forget that the Family of Mr. Jones called 911 asking for help because they were afraid he was going to hurt himself or someone. So when the sheriff's does step in they become murders. That doesn't seem fair. I'm not trained in S.W.A.T. procedures but if i was placed in the same situation I cant say that I would have acted any differently. The register only prints one side of every story. I just wished that Sandusky County had a fair and balanced newspaper, not two tabloids.

holysee

I'M NOT A TRAINED SWAT TEAM MEMBER BUT I KNOW I COULD HAVE EASILY BROUGHT HIM OUT ALIVE WITH A SIMPLE STUN GUN ALL BY MYSELF.
Asleep with shotgun on chest.
Stun grenade wakes him up the BLAM BLAM BLAM! Why did they even waste a stun grenade? Wanted him to witness his own murder I guess?
Police wanted to play with their guns. One member of that swat team
even has a restriction from even owning a gun except when on swat team. Nice folks. Jones was murdered plain and simple.

Jmschmidt812

No he wasn't. Get a grip on reality. You wouldn't have went into a house with a stun gun, knowing there was a man in there with a shotgun. That's like taking a knife to a gun fight. Your so diluted to think that you or anyone else would approach that situation any different then they did.

Ctwhalers

As far as brian Jones goes i have talked to well respected officers outside of Ohio and they say that they handle that one wrong jakes case is not the only case overmyer has either screwed up or handle wrong

FreBerg2

Holysee

I'm glad you have your opinion. I just disagree with you. Lets look at this case. I don't know about you but I sleep really lightly. If my dog walks into my bed room I wake up. If I'm already pissed off and looking to hurt someone, lets just say threatening family members life's. (As in the Jones Case) I would sure as hell be happy to pull my trigger and shoot someone who was trying to sneak in to safely remove a gun on my chest. There's so many different scenarios that could have happened. Do I understand the flash bang. Not really but once again I'm not trained. But I'm sure we have all heard the phrase Hindsight's 20/20.

DGMutley

He was passed out. They could walked in and taken the gun. They threw the flash-bang, he jumped, and they shot him dead. It looks like murder to me. Sorry! On top of it the gun was empty!

Jmschmidt812

If it was that easy why didn't his parents do it? Ever hear of playing possum? That could have happened to. And let's get one more thing straight NOBODY knew that gun WASN'T loaded until the threat was removed.

red white and blue

Freberg^^^ I notice you didnt want to comment on the story about the women that was in jail that was mistreated.hmm? Funny you only commented on the two story's and avoided that one like I said the ones on here defending sandusky county leaders are most likely the leaders them sells or related to them

holysee

HEAR HEAR.
CONFIRMED.
WHAT HE SAID.

FreBerg2

HEAR HEAR
CONFIRMED
WHAT HE SAID
THINK FOR YOURSELF LOOK OUTSIDE OF THE BOX AND NOT WHAT THE MEDIA WANT"S YOU TOO. I WILL GLADLY GET MOCK FOR HAVING MY OWN OPINION INSTEAD OF CONFORMING TO THE GROUP..........................

Jmschmidt812

So by your reasoning anyone that defends the people involved on these cases are family members right? The officers involved in the case with the woman were ALL fired!!! So move onto something else.

FreBerg2

Red white and blue
I though I started off comment about that. Stating "I'm so proud of you for your last comment. You use allegedly sexually exploited instead of the usual form of slander of just saying Sexually Exploited." I can go into greater detail if you would like? Ok lets do that. Lets see three men were accused of making a so called "Mentally Ill" woman perform sexual acts on herself for there pleasure. They were than placed on leave and eventually either fired or resigned. I believe that's correct. If I'm wrong I'm sure you will let me know. So what did the Sheriff do wrong. If the allegations were true he removed them from service. I believe this case actually went to a Grand Jury and the men were not indicted on any charges. Now I might be mistaken but this Grand Jury release a report saying that mistakes were made but nothing worth termination or charges, even stating that these men didn't get a fair chance due to the media outbreak. You would have to ask Matt but at one point in time I believe the actually Grand Jury Report was in a register article. If a Grand Jury heard all the statements and testimony and decided these men were innocent I think I'm going to agree with them. Because they seen and heard more about this story than any of us. But I can talk about all of the stories if you would like. I'm rather educated and can read "Between The Lines" so I have my own opinion instead of conforming to the register view.

John Harville

I think brother of one is SC Repub Party Chair...

FreBerg2

Mr Harville
Thank you for that great post. You just proved that politics don't run Sandusky county. If it did the sheriff wouldn't terminate his chairman's brother. You must know the families well to provide this information. Thank you once again.

Buster66

Or keeps more notes on everyone in the community than a Register journalist.

Seen it All

And WHO presented the "Evidence" to the Grand Jury? How does that old saying go? "You can get an indictment for a ham sandwich, if evidence is given to the Grand Jury".

And that would be the same guy who don't think he can get indictment for the perverted State patrol who masturbates with little boys. Stinks of "good ol boy's club" from here.

FreBerg2

Seen it all.
That would be true but Mr. Dewine talk about handling this case on "between The Lines" this week. The county request his help due to conflict of interest.

Jakes Dad

I also had hope in Grand jury.IMo I think kile owes you 5,000 also.Because you are educated and can read "Between The Lines".

CatsAreTheBest419

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

CatsAreTheBest419

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Ctwhalers

Cats he was sober when he posted his post. Shows how much you know.

holysee

Bomb squad robot. Long stick. High pressure water hose. Tranquilizer dart. Bean bag shot. Rubber bullet. Many other options too numerous to mention. Lazy cops or the police playin' with their guns?

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