Update: AG says grand jury vendor's claims aren't accurate

Sandusky County clerk of courts has joint venture with software company, but Attorney General wants it to remove claims of affiliation with the AG
Register
Mar 24, 2014

 

Breaking news, March 25, 2014: Overmyer's grand jury vendor modifies claims

Update March 24, 2014: The Ohio Attorney intends to tell a computer software firm that has a joint venture with Sandusky County clerk of courts Tracey Overmyer to remove suggestions at its website it also has an association with the AG's office.

AG spokesman Dan Tierney said Monday that Rockware Justice and Team Ray, the software company Overmyer partnered with, would be told to remove references to the Attorney General.

"The Ohio Attorney General's Office intends to send letters to both Rockware Justice and Team Ray Technologies to cease their claim of affiliation with our office," Tierney wrote in reply to an inquiry from the Register sent to him Saturday.

Tierney also said the AG's office is unaware of the nature of the relationship between Rockware and Overmyer. 

"Questions regarding the company's relationship with other public offices should be directed toward those offices," he said.

Overmyer did not respond to a request seeking a more complete explanation of her relationship with Rockware, which appears to have been formed to perform work the clerk's office is required to perform.

She also did not respond to a request for the contracts, requests for proposals and other public records that would be required to subcontract the work.

The Register intends to seek more information from the county auditor's office about any payments made to Rockware or Team Ray, and any existing contracts that Overmyer might have established with the firm.  

The claim on Rockware's website state the company was formed to provide services for Overmyer. 

"Rockware Justice was started as a joint venture between the Sandusky County Clerk of Courts and Team Ray Technologies. Originally initiated to develop an affordable and user friendly Common Pleas Case Management System utilizing the latest technology available. The software suite includes a case management segment, judicial calendar, and cash book manager. The system was successfully launched in April 2010. Retail packages for Municipal and County Courts are being developed."

The portion of the statement by Rockware CEO Ryan Ray that suggests an association with the AG's officer reads: "Additional functionality is being added to integrate Rockware Justice with the Attorney General of Ohio and other state, local and third party agencies."

"The Ohio Attorney General's Office has no relationship with this company," Tierney said.

The exact relationship Overmyer has with Rockware is unclear. It's also unclear whether Rockware has any contracts with any other public agencies. 

*

Original story posted March 22, 2014:

Sandusky County clerk of courts Tracy Overmyer told a local newspaper she used a vendor in Bellevue for the jury selection process in the Limberios investigation.

Team Ray Technologies has developed computer programming called Rockware Justice that assists courts in administrative tasks.

On its website, Ryan Ray, CEO of Team Ray Technologies, provides the following description of the relationship with the county: "Rockware Justice was started as a joint venture between the Sandusky County Clerk of Courts and Team Ray Technologies."  

The exact nature of the relationship between the clerk's office and Team Ray/Rockware is not clear.

A joint venture is defined as an association of two or more individuals or companies engaged in a solitary business enterprise for profit without actual partnership or incorporation.

The Register asked Overmyer and Ohio Attorney General spokesman Dan Tierney on Saturday to provide a more complete explanation of the public-private arrangement between Overmyer and Rockware. It also asked for contracts, requests for proposals and the method by which Rockware's software complies with state law governing grand jury selection.

The Fremont News-Messenger explained Overmyer's description of the grand jury selection process this way: "The board of elections randomly selects names and sends them to a vendor the clerk's office uses, called Team Ray, in Bellevue. The vendor's software generates names of the jurors and then the clerk's office sends them letters and questionnaires related to jury duty. In this case, the questionnaires were given directly to the attorney general's office, Overmyer said."

The Ohio Revised Code requires the clerk to advertise the intention to form a grand jury in a local newspaper. It also requires the county's two-person "jury of commissioners" certify the selection process with the presiding judge and the clerk's office.

The ORC also requires, among other things, the jury of commissioners meet and certify the random draw from the annual jury list of the names of prospective jurors.

The Register made a public records request to Overmyer on Feb. 18 asking for an opportunity to review and copy the documents required by the Ohio Revised Code. She initially said the documents were sealed by visiting Judge Dale Crawford under a secret gag order, but later told the AG's office her office had no documents responsive to the Register's request.

In a court motion on Wedneday, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine described "procedural" mistakes in the selection process and asked Judge Crawford to approve the findings of the grand jury despite potential violations of the Ohio Revised Code.

The grand jury determined Nov. 20 that no criminal wrongdoing occurred in Jacob Limberios' death. DeWine said earlier this month he didn't believe any grand jury would have returned an indictment based on the evidence his office presented, and it's unclear why he asked for a grand jury if there wasn't any evidence of wrongdoing.

The investigation by DeWine's offce determined Jacob Limberios accidentally shot himself March 2, 2012. That's in contrast to the findings of the sheriff's office and Sandusky County Coroner John Wukie, who ruled Jake's death an accidental suicide.

DeWine took over the investigation in May 2013 after Crawford cited potential conflicts in the way the investigation was being handled.

Evidence — including blood-spattered shoes and clothing worn by witnesses — was destroyed immediately after Limberios was killed. Other evidence wasn't collected. Wukie refused to order an autopsy, and he has since refused to correct the death certificate to reflect DeWine's findings.

Read the petition for removal of prosecutor, sheriff

It was the second grand jury in Sandusky County headed up by DeWine's office that no-billed an investigation.

In 2012, a grand jury deterimened there was no criminal wrongdoing when jail guards allegedly sexually exploited a mentally ill inmate who was denied her medication. The 21-year-old woman was kept naked in an observational jail cell and encouraged to masturbate and engage in other lewd behavior for the sexual gratification of the guards, according to reports. 

DeWine also must decide whether he will ask for a grand jury in a criminal investigation his office has been conducting since August into the jailhouse death of Craig Burdine in 2007. Burdine died minutes after he was dragged into the jail, and his family contends jail guards caused his death.

Dr. Michael Baden, the famed pathologist, determined Burdine was the victim of a homicide, and DeWine's office has said there was never any local criminal investigation as to what caused Burdine's death prior to the one now being conducted. 

DeWine's office also is investigating the deletion of public records from three computers owned by the city of Fremont. The computers were wiped clean and the documents and the information that was removed is believed to be related to the $36 million in cost overruns during construction of the Fremont Reservoir. 

Read the Ohio Revised Code statutes governing grand jury selection: 

ORC 2939.02

ORC 2313.08

ORC 2313.09

ªORC 2313.10

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

 

Comments

mamaC

WoW!!!! Just wrong that these "officials" can keep in office with stuff done so wrong?

WinstonSmith's picture
WinstonSmith

Either the system allows for these 'officials' to act like this, or it's powerless to prevent the criminal behavior.

It's time for a serious re-evaluation of how we structure our society.

holysee

Team Ray is a sham, as you will soon find out. I assure you, no other county uses such an arrangement. Stay out of Hazzardusky county!

DickTracey

Team Ray is a used car lot.

Who trusts used car salesmen?

mamaC

My question is this was this outsourcing to Team Ray Tech ever bid out to other technology places to provide this service?

Do other surrounding counties use this " method " or team ray tech ?

DGMutley
DickTracey

"Rockware Justice was started as a joint venture between the Sandusky County Clerk of Courts and Team Ray Technologies."  

The exact nature of the relationship between the clerk's office and Team Ray/Rockware is not clear.

I have a few good guesses, Cousin? Nephew? Brother in Law? Grandson? Lover?

It's Sandusky County, that's all you need on your resume.

red white and blue

Its relation

mamaC

Do tell.. How?

mamaC

http://www.change.org/petitions/.... If people do not see there needs to be Accountability in Sandusky County I don't know what it will take.

red white and blue

I will tell you this Tracy Overmeyer use to be in the tittle office years ago team ray owns a car lot they are very acquainted with each other there are some more connections then just this and I promise you it will all come out soon

Ctwhalers

This just keeps getting more and more unreal. Surprised they still have a job.

Ctwhalers

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained A duplicate post.

mamaC

They all have jobs still because it would very uncomfortable at Thanksgiving dinner sit across someone you turned on and had to fire. That is why Sandusky County should not hire/elected family members in position like it is in Overmyer county.. The Government should have this already in place before stuff like this happens. Hmm loyal to my family or do what is best for my community? Family beats community all the time. ; )

holysee

DID YOU READ THE REDUNDANCY OF WHAT THEY DID?
"The board of elections randomly selects names and sends them to a vendor the clerk's office uses, called Team Ray, in Bellevue. The vendor's software generates names of the jurors and then the clerk's office sends them letters and questionnaires related to jury duty. In this case, the questionnaires were given directly to the attorney general's office, Overmyer said."

Why do you need software to "generate" names when the names are already given?
This stinks too bad even for sandco.
What are you up to Mizz Overmyer? You are truly a cog.

slightthroat212

let me get this straight....Ms Overmyer gives all the names to Team Ray so his computer can pick out SOME names to use as the grand jury. She sends those picks the letters and questioneers? And notifies the AG? What did I miss here? Why bother giving the taxpayer names to this dude to pick some names from? Why the extra step? Can't she pick the names herself????? She is the clerk of courts, so why didn't the AG have her just pick the names of eligible people for the grand jury and vette them for the grand jury? This seems even MORE suspicious than if they had done it the right way than with all this intrege. Why ?

Darkhorse

Where is the Ethics Commission when all are related to each other?

SamAdams

Part of the problem is that the regulatory structure is too complex. I'm not excusing any failure to comply nor does this offer up any reason for wrongdoing. What the complexity DOES do, though, is make a lot easier for officials to hide their corruption!

How to pick a grand jury: Random picks from voter registrations. DONE! There's no need here for third parties, nor is there any rationale for refusing (or dragging your feet) to provide information on how grand juries are seated.

Part of what makes this case so difficult for the public to understand and for reporters to get a handle on is that there are apparently myriad regulations, requirements, judges' orders (whether appropriate or inappropriate is hard to tell at this point!) and etc. for people to hide behind or to use as misdirection.

Simplify the existing law, for heaven's sake! And then make just one more: NO MORE RELATIVES in positions of potential conflict of interest! Surely not EVERYbody in Sandusky County is related to the sheriff...ARE they?

the office cat

Board of Elections send all 41,000+ active and inactive voters on the rolls. Computer generates randomly a list of names. Forms are sent to potential jurors to complete and return stating reasons they might not be able to serve - disability, etc. No one can be excused before called for a trial or hearing. But they can be screened out based on their returned forms. Jurors receive calls for specific hearings, trials.
Should we assume the Commissioners or County Exec/Administrator (former clerk of courts) do not provide adequate equipment/operators for two jury commissioners to put the names into the computers?
But this will slide because the Sandusky County News-Messenger will not pursue it.

chuckles

WWW.TEAMRAYTECH.COM

"Rock.careIT is a new division of Team Ray Technologies created specifically to assist small organizations properly utilize the latest technologies to maximize their efficiency...."

Sandusky County Clerk is a 'small organization' that needs to pay an outside company to assist it to "properly utilize the latest technologies"? We pay hundreds of thousands in tax dollars to a governmental agency that needs help "to maximize efficiency..."?

Is this how the Clerk selects all jury pools - like the one I currently am in.

sandtown born a...

WOW WOW WOW I have been following this whole joke of a investigation, autopsy, trial (using these terms loosely) from the beginning the hits just seem to keep on coming. I am curious what part of this whole thing from the that deadly night until today that was actually done correctly? Dewine just keeps excusing the incompetence AMAZING TO ME!!!! There needs to be a clean sweep of all involved!

chuckles

Q: What is a grand jury?
A: The grand jury is a part of the common pleas court system in Ohio. One or more grand juries sit in each Ohio county for a period of four or more months at a time all year round; grand juries meet every day in some counties, once a month in others. The grand jury is composed of nine persons and not more than five alternates. All are residents of the county and were randomly selected to serve, just as trial (or petit) jurors are selected.

Was the Limberios Grand Jury a special grand jury?
Or was it the one selected for the four-month term?

AND WHY DID ONE MEMBER OF THE LIMBERIOS GRAND JURY TELL FRIENDS SHE COLDN'T LISTEN TO A CONVERSATION ABOUT THE CASE BECAUSE THEY STILL WERE DELIBERATING? MAYBE SOMEONE NEEDS TO CALL HER LUNCH BUDDIES?

mamaC

It was suppose to be a "special grand jury" but turned out to be a Special Secret Grand Jury! IMO this judge "sealed" the proceedings so things that were done "wrong" would not be found out. Sneaky Lil official's did not count on a reporter to stay on the case. DeWine was in this case to make it go away just like the rest of them out of SC.

holysee

And what about that Kindred gal who worked briefly at the jail?

chuckles

2939.06 and shall administer, or cause to be administered, to the jurors an oath in the following words to which the jurors shall respond "I do solemnly swear" or "I do solemnly affirm" :

"Do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will diligently inquire into and carefully deliberate all matters that shall come to your attention concerning this service; and do you solemnly swear or affirm THAT YOU WILL KEEP SECRET ALL PROCEEDINGS of the grand jury unless you are required in a court of justice to make disclosure; and do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will indict no person through malice, hatred, or ill will; and do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will not leave unindicted any person through fear, favor, or affection, or for any reward or hope thereof; and do you solemnly swear or affirm that in all your deliberations you will present the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, according to the best of your skill and understanding, as you shall answer unto God or under the penalties of perjury?"

Who do I see about the Probation Officer on the Limberios jury who listened to comments then said "I can't listen to this" as she revealed she was on the jury?

sash

I don't think revealing she was on the jury could be a violation. There's no way any juror could conceal their jury duty from their spouse, children or employer. Think the key to that is the word "proceedings." They have to swear not to reveal anything they see or hear while they are empaneled.

the office cat

One may reveal to spouse he/she is on the grand jury but not a specific one... having been on a grand jury four-month panel. AT NO TIME can a juror reveal over lunch that he/she is on such a jury as this. He/she simply abides by the oath and discounts anything heard at the meal. Otherwise it would be impossible not to overhear discussions. The Oath requires the juror make decisions based ONLY on what is heard DURING proceedings - without regard to TV, newspaper, family, gossip.
In this case the PROBATION OFFICER simply should not have joined in the conversation nor taken any notice. While you may consider it a small thing, less has been used to nullify a jury decision.

holysee

Take it up with sheriff overmyer or prosecutor stierwalt

Babo

Wow...I'd laugh hard if this matter was not serious. It's usually not the first crimes that trip people up but the cover up or obstruction of justice that follows.

Per her usual role: Kristina Smith "watchdog reporter" for the Fremont News Messenger and Port Clinton News Herald has written a PR piece defending allegedly corrupt public officials and what increasingly appears to be a text book example of "How to Fix a Criminal Investigation and or Prosecution to Protect Public Officials, Lawyers, and/or Their Associates".

Poor Traci Overmyer, she just couldn't help herself. Runs to friendly reporter/lap dog Kristina to explain the "integrity of the process" and that process itself turns out to be corrupt as he##. There are so many violations of law in the out-sourcing of a fundamental duty of a court to a private vendor without bid, contract etc that it's hard to know where to begin. Contract steering, jury tampering, obstruction of justice and that doesn't begin to address the fact that the retired visiting judge didn't have any lawful right to supervise the grand jury in the first place.

Of course the toothless "watchdog" reporter has no idea that she has published the local equivalent of the Watergate break in that ought to unravel the entire conspiracy to obstruct a grand jury investigation. There's also the "minor" problem that every criminal defendant may be able to question the legitimacy of their indictments

Keep publishing those PR pieces KS just like you did for former Ottawa County Sheriff Bratton and the rest of Ottawa County officials who will hopefully follow him into a federal court room someday

DGMutley

Staggering.

The Ohio Supreme Court must have an auditing system in place to audit Ohio courts for compliance to Ohio court rules?

Babo

You're joking right? The Mayor of Fremont just hired the thoroughly unqualified Joe Smith as "Development Director". Smith's qualifications: He's a former reporter and was the personal secretary and driver to the late Chief Justice Moyer who IMO perfected the highly politicized pay to play judicial system started by the late CJ Celebrezze we have today in Ohio.

Just try complaining to the Supreme Court of the lack of compliance with the law by officers of the court such as retired judges. They'll charge you with a crime for it.

DickTracey

Is Joe Smith related to News Mess reporter Kristina Smith?

Babo

Good question. Don't know.

sandusky2012

i beleieve they are not even located in sandusky county my understaning is this company is in huron county

the office cat

Borderline. Depending whether office is with car lot/racing team on 269 in Bellevue.
269 is the County Line. Bellevue High School is in Sandusky County.
Former Prosecutor John Meyers lived a couple blocks inside Sandusky County but his law office was in Huron County.

speechtx

"Rockware Justice has been architected for ease of use with the help of professionals from the Sandusky County Clerk of Courts office." from the website.

Julie R.

So who were the Jury Commissioners for the jury selection?

According to O.R.C. 2313.01, the judges of the court of common pleas shall appoint 2 persons, neither of whom shall be an attorney, nor more than one of them shall be of the same political party, to be jury commissioners for the county, but they can be court employees, and it further states the appointments shall be filed in the clerk of court.

O.R.C.2313.02 states that the judges of the common pleas court fix the compensation that the jury commissioners receive for their duties and the compensation is payable out of the county treasury .... and this also has to be filed with the clerk of court.

O.R.C.2313.03 states before entering upon the duties, the Jury Commissioners (and any Deputy Commissioners) shall take an Oath of Office and this also has to be filed in the clerk of court.

So, once again, who were the 2 Jury Commissioners appointed by the common pleas judges that were involved in the jury selection?

mamaC

Sealed under the Judge excuse will be used again.. As it has through this entire case...

Julie R.

The retired judge might have unlawfully sealed what is supposed to be a matter of public record, but isn't there anybody in Sandusky County that knows who the two jury commissioners are?

the office cat

You mean the two judges who recused and/or were removed?

Julie R.

No, I mean who were the 2 jury commissioners that were involved in picking the jury for the Limberios investigation. The O.R.C. 2313.01 says that the common pleas court judges in a county are to appoint 2 jury commissioners and neither can be attorneys, nor more than one of them can be of the same political party, but they can be COURT EMPLOYEES.

The way everybody seems to be related in Sandusky County, were the 2 jury commissioners related to anybody?

DGMutley

Whoever trained her didn't train her right.

If she was involved in a coverup or stacking the odds in favor of someone she would have covered herself with the proper docs.

sandusky2012

id say rockware and rockware probally related to the good old boys

holysee

Look for who the Limberios witnesses are connected to. They are the one(s) being protected by this obvious cover-up.

Stop It

+1

ChristineWiedle

Would love to hear the talk around the "water cooler" today @ Sandusky County courthouse.

Jakes Dad

As long as Mike DeWine is asking Judge Crawford questions can he ask him to have Wukie change the death certificate so Ella can possibly collect on her daddy's life insurance policy he left for her?

think4myself

The Register has an obvious agenda against anything in Sandusky county to the point of creating issues to cause more drama and pain for the families who cant move on.
Im confused why so many of you are so concerned with another county. Dont you have any problems of your own? Its sad that you let one slanted source of information do your thinking for you.

holysee

Funny how the shills show up. You know a paper is doing a good job when creeps like think4myself show up to complain. There are red flags everywhere and to look the other way is just not possible.
Corruption is everywhere but this is way over the top and egregious.

the office cat

Kristina only is being a good Gannett employee - speaking as one who retired from one of their publications.
"Thou shalt not disrupt the machinations of local (Republican) politicians nor question law enforcement,," even when a cop puts a gun to your back while you are interviewing a union member on strike...
The same is true of DACarson - who calls the chairman of the local Republicans by his nickname while covering a story.

the office cat

Someone should be asking County Administrator/CEO Warren Brown (Republican Primary candidate for County Auditor) for details on the entire contract with TeamRay etc.
How much is it?
Was it competetively bid?
Why was it necessary/does county not have computers/staff to do the job?
How was it done for decades?
Maybe Dan or Kristina will ask THESE questions. hahahahaha

sandusky2012

Are you stating the clear of courts gave out all information personel to this company from the board of elections ? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE?

the office cat

The Rockware is a program used by the County... nothing goes out. but no one knows if it's bid.

Kristina?

think4myself

The petition drive was a failure. The extra autopsies and investigations didnt get you the answers you wanted.
Grow up, stop acting like a spoiled child and let the blame for the tragedy fall where it belongs. Drinking and irresponsibly playing with a loaded gun is what caused it.
All this tabloid and the commenters are doing is driving business out of Sandusky. Why would anyone from Sandusky county want to spend their money here?

Ctwhalers

Think4myself you have no clue what you are talking about you need to grow up. The petition drive was not a failure. We got DeWine involved. Even through there were still wrong doings going on before grand jury and during it. This new petition is to have the governor step in cause of all the cases of wrong doing by the sheriffs office and Sandusky county itself. There is no proof Jake was holding gun when he was shot.you need to get the whole AG's report you will find some very interesting stuff in there. Including audio. The register is doing one heck of a job getting the stories out that Fremont paper will not. I wonder why. Re-read the burdine case. Alot wrong by sandusky county. Look at the others cases to. People have been afraid to say something but now they are not.

holysee

Red flags everywhere.
Red flags everywhere.

sandusky2012

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal information.

think4myself

The readers and followers of this paper are more like a cult who blindly believe all the drama shoved at you . Wonder why no other paper or news outlet is interested? Integrity is why and what is missing here.
Keep up the show. Gives the rest of us a good chuckle to see what sheeple Sandusky breeds.

Jakes Dad

@ think4yourself. OH, they are interested in this sheeple cult. sweetheart.

think4myself

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

Think4myself register keeps getting awards for there great reporting how about Fremont messenger? The only ones blind are the ones who are to blind to see what is going on. Or part of the problem. I have heard of other newspapers say what a great job they are doing covering theses stories. I have even heard tv stations say the same thing. J4J crew says thanks for all the great comnents and for supporting a great cause. Let think4myself and others make there comments we know the real truth. Justice will prevail.

think4myself

Of course they say thanks. They will cling to any false hope they can get. The longer this witch hunt goes on won't change the fact Jakes choices resulted in his own death. Personal responsibility!
It's sad but it's true. Put your pitchforks away townspeople and see that this paper is using you to sell papers and ad space!
I have a happy life and I am wasting no more time on this. I suggest you all do the same.

Julie R.

think4myself saying "this paper is just using you to sell papers and ad space" is a cop-out. It's the same as the idiots that tell victims of injustice to get over it and move on.

DGMutley

+1

Truth2u

WOW, the little newspaper, Sandusky Register, is roaring BIG TIME! I can honestly say I questioned the awards, but with articles like this I have to admit I was wrong. Well done Register, well done. This is the type of reporting that keeps our freedoms from being taken away from those who are suppose to SERVE! Without a Free and Responsible press, society has no protection from Government, the press is more powerful than a gun if used correctly.

Reading the previous Register reports, the one on Lee Naus's 'death' disturbs me greatly, the Coroner ruled crushing from the trash truck but there were witnesses that saw people throw him into a dumpster, and as the Register reported and won an award from its report, the Coroner often rules as the police want them to rule.

If the Register puts on more staff I wouldn't be surprised that there is just as much if not more detective reporting to do in this and Huron county. The judges and the judicial system along with law enforcement is no longer accountable, their actions are more like Kings, Caesars and the SS and KGB than representatives and servants to society.

think4myself

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

Hopperthe2nd

Thought you were not wasting anymore time on this?

the office cat

Can the sheriff be more wrong in defending his sister?
The Board of Elections sends ALL voter names to the Clerk of Courts. The Common Pleas Court Administrator puts the name into the computer, utilizing the RockWare software that came on-line in 2010 to randomly develop a list of voters to be in several jury pools each trimester.
It's all done in the Court Administrator's office in the courthouse. no names go to Bellevue.
Did anybody think to call Common Pleas please and ask how juries are selected?

Julie R.

Considering how the prosecutor of a county oversees all county public offices ~ auditor, recorder, treasurer, and clerk of court ~ hard to believe this Clerk of Court Tracey Overmyer would enter into a joint business venture with an outside computer software firm without clearing it first with the Sandusky County prosecutor and even the common pleas court judges. In addition, O.R.C. 2310.10(E) states when the sheriff is interested in a cause of any court of record, only the jury commissioners shall summon the jurors.

Easy to see where all trails lead back to in corrupt Sandusky County!

Formerly from N...

FREMONT — The judge who presided over assembling the special grand jury in the Jacob Limberios case said he does not believe allegations that the jury was tainted are valid.

“It makes no sense to me where the complaint is,” visiting Judge Dale Crawford of Columbus said in an exclusive interview with The News-Messenger. “If you find out what the problem is, I’d love to know.”

The Sandusky Register has alleged that the grand jury that reviewed the criminal investigation into the death of Jacob Limberios was not convened according to Ohio law.

The grand jury determined in November that Limberios, 19, of Castalia, accidentally shot himself in the head while partying with three people on March 2, 2012, at a rural home near Clyde. The jurors declined to charge anyone with a crime.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office believes the grand jury was assembled properly but asked Crawford to take a second look, according to Sandusky County Common Pleas Court records. Crawford said he plans to review the procedures, but he doesn’t know when he’ll get to it.

“I’ve been very busy,” Crawford said. “Quite frankly, it’s not something that’s at the top of my list to be doing right now.

“I’m not in any hurry because nobody’s been indicted.”

Sandusky attorney Dan McGookey — who had represented the Limberios family until mid-January and is apparently representing them again — filed a motion requesting an extension of time to respond by Friday to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office motion to have Crawford review the grand jury procedures.

But McGookey does not have standing to challenge the grand jury, Crawford said.

Nonetheless, Crawford said he will still review what McGookey submits.

The only people who have standing to challenge a grand jury are the prosecutor and anyone the jurors indicted, Crawford said.

And no indictments were returned, making the allegations moot, he said.

The Attorney General’s Office found the only issue with the grand jury process was a newspaper advertisement was not published, said Dan Tierney, spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office.

“That’s a proceeding that means nothing,” Crawford said.

McGookey and Limberios’ parents, Mike and Shannon Limberios of Castalia, were not available for comment Tuesday evening.

Sandusky County Clerk of Courts Tracy Overmyer said she completed the process to assemble the grand jury correctly.

She said she has been accused of failing to release records regarding the grand jury, but she said some or all of the records are sealed. She was waiting on a legal opinion from the Sandusky County Prosecutor’s Office to determine what she could legally release.

Grand jury proceedings are secret, and the only information that becomes public is whether or not an indictment has been released, Crawford said. The names of the jurors are sealed.

“That’s the norm,” Crawford said.

Additionally, someone attempted to obtain the names of the grand jurors in the Limberios case, Tierney said. A person claiming to be calling for Attorney General’s Office special prosecutor Marianne Hemmeter asked the clerk of court’s office and attempted to get a list of the jurors, Tierney said.

No one from the Attorney General’s Office made the request, and the clerk’s office did not release the information, Tierney said. The incident has been reported to the court.

The Attorney General’s Office became involved last summer, something Limberios’ parents and McGookey wanted to see happen after they alleged Sandusky County botched the case.

The night Limberios died, witnesses said he was holding his gun by his head before it went off. Sandusky County Coroner Dr. John Wukie ruled the death a suicide without going to the scene or examining the body.

During their investigation, agents from the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation — an arm of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office — also found a defect in Limberios’ gun that caused it to fire sometimes without the trigger being fully pulled.

The Limberioses and McGookey had declined to comment in January on why McGookey was no longer representing them. But last week, he filed the request for an extension of time to respond on their behalf.

In a Jan. 16 email to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Shannon Limberios said she and her husband were pleased with the investigation the Attorney General’s Office did, a statement that contradicted McGookey’s assessment of the inquiry.

“We believe that you left no stone unturned and were very thorough in dealing with the information that was available to you,” Shannon Limberios wrote.

“Thank you for all you have done, your professionalism and help in finding out what happened to our son.”

Babo

Dale Crawford is not a legally qualified judge in the State of Ohio and he does not have jurisdiction to review a Grand Jury in Sandusky County, Ohio. See US Constitution Art. 6 Clauses 2 and 3. Ohio Constitution Art 15 Section 7 (No oath equals no authority)
Criminal Rule 2 (E) Retired judges are not listed as having authority to preside in criminal cases, and the statutes and rules governing grand juries.

Any legal actions undertaken in violation of the Constitution or statutory law are void or a nullity. The Grand Jury proceedings could be declared void under federal law through a Declaratory judgment proceeding in Federal Court.

Formerly from N...

Sharing an article from a real newspaper since Im sure you wont see this in this piece of garbage.
headline reads:
Judge: No sense to complaint
Newspaper ad 'means nothing'

Babo

Could you please direct me to the record of Dale Crawford's oath of office in Sandusky County, his bond in Sandusky County, and his commission to act as a Sandusky County Common Pleas Court Judge.

Again this is a textbook example of how the people's judicial system in this state has been co-opted by politicians and privatized to benefit the connected by controlling criminal investigations and prosecutions to obtain desired outcomes.

Formerly from N...

You people are hopeless. You only hear what you want to hear and anything else is a conspiracy. Pitiful.
Blah blah blah blah blah blah is all you hear unless it fits your agenda.
Good luck

Babo

And good luck with your job at the AG's office.

Common Tater

The Common Pleas court started using Rockware in 2010, but County Courts I and II used software from Henschen and Associates. As you can see from their website http://www.henschen.com/, Henschen provides court software to numerous courts throughout Ohio. They are also members of the BBB and have been in business since 1987.

So, why did Tracy recently stop using it in County Courts I and II? Because when she was appointed clerk, she simply could not figure out how to use it. Instead she is now trusting a former car dealer with the the county's confidential records.

If Rockware was developed in a joint effort with Sandusky County Court, this can only mean one thing. They are the first and only court that is using the software. It is essentially being tested in the Sandusky County Court.

Why is the clerk allowing the county to be a test site for ANY software?

With Tracy Overmyer's lack of knowledge about the Ohio Revised Code and Rockware's inexperience with court documentation and records ... I can only imagine how many mistakes are being made. With confidential information and records.