Judge says law makes no sense

Crawford takes unusual step responding to pending court motion in newspaper article
Register
Mar 26, 2014

 

Visiting Judge Dale Crawford said Tuesday he doesn't understand a court motion filed by Attorney General Mike DeWine, according to an article in the Fremont News-Messenger today.  

DeWine's office filed the motion last week asking Crawford to affirm a decision by a grand jury despite an apparent violation of state law DeWine said occurred during the jury selection process in October. 

“It makes no sense to me where the complaint is,” Crawford said, according to the article. “If you find out what the problem is, I’d love to know.”

DeWine stated in the motion that Sandusky County clerk of courts Tracy Overmyer had apparently failed to file a public notice about the formation of the grand jury, which is required by state law. 

Overmyer has been unable to provide other public records required by the Ohio Revised Code related to the Limberios grand jury. The statutes requiring the documentation are designed to assure jury selection is an open and fair process.

The other documents, Overmyer suggested, were sealed by Crawford under a secret gag order he issued last year.  

Crawford gave an "exclusive interview" to the News-Messenger, the article states, but he provided no indication when he might rule on DeWine's request. 

“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."

Click here to read the News-Messenger article

Click here to read a news article about DeWine's court motion

Comments

Ctwhalers

He does not know what the problem is. How can you not see the problem

Peninsula Pundit

The Attorney General thought it warranted attention.
So that would seem to indicate that the concerns the Sandusky Register has raised have risen to the point action was required by the AG.
If the law was followed, then all Judge Crawford is being asked to do is to certify with his signature that everything performed under his aegis was done properly.
If it was, then why doesn't the judge simply affirm the decision and move on.
However, if there is something amiss, how might someone deflect and obfuscate the issue?
By doing exactly what Judge Crawford is now doing.
As many law-and-order types like to post, 'If you've done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear.'
Right?

lmalley77

Agree peninsula!!

DickTracey

Crawfords arrogant comment, about it making no sense to him and he doesn't know what the problem is, reminds me very much of Ottawa County's prosecutor Mulligan's comment on sheriff Bratton's theft in office.

"I don't see anything criminal" stated an arrogant Mulligan. He was referring to the sheriff stealing over $10,000 of grant monies.

We now know the ending of that story, Bratton plead guilty to theft, is awaiting sentencing, and Mulligan has egg on his face.

Both men gave arrogant quotes when the newspaper questioned their shoddy work ethics.

holysee

A judge only sees what what a judge wants to see.
After all, a judge is a judge and a judge is given almost complete freedom to judge as they see fit.
Oversight is from higher up judges that only see what they want to see.
And those higher ups have no oversight.
Justice is blind indeed!
Judges have more power than alla or jeezuz.
Own it!

FremontAlice

Criminy! Matt and his merry band of stooges with their conspiracy behind every tree. Get real.

Please read the NM article. Judge Crawford did NOT say the "Law Makes No Sense" as your headline states. He said the SR's complaint makes no sense. He is correct.

Matt: The SR is becoming a laughingstock for thinking people. Any public official who disagrees with you is either stupid or crooked or both, right? You seem to have easy access to the seven SuperLawyers of Sandusky; why not ask their opinions on some of these issues before you go out with blazing guns, not caring what good honest public servants you are hurting?

lmalley77

FremontAlice....Are you one of those "honest" public servants Matt is supposedly hurting, because the way I see it is if they are being honest and truthful and all of the above, then they should have NO problem submitting any and all public documents as requested!! For a JUDGE to simply say that the AG's request doesn't make sense and that he's so busy that it doesn't fall under his priorities of things to do right now, yeah, that just sounds suspect!!

sash

There would be a very big problem releasing any information about the Grand Jury proceedings or juror identities because it is against the law. The only documents that could be released would involve the "process" of jury selection, with no identities revealed. The AG's office reviewed and found no problems with the process beyond the failure to take out the ad. The publishing statute is a newer requirement and obviously she screwed up and needs additional training. The Judge was responding to the allegation that the jury was tainted because of the failure to advertise.

Jeff Strongman

"becoming a laughingstock" That ship sailed long ago.  

Matt Westerhold

Thanks FremontAlice. Sorry I haven't had the chance to check the comments today but I did want to reply after seeing yours just now. The Register did not make any complaint, so your suggestion cannot be accurate. The only information the judge has to review is the motion filed by AG Mike DeWine's office. The Register simply reported that the clerk of courts was unable to provide the documents required in the Ohio Revised Code. I hope that assists you in having a better understanding, but reading all your other comments it seems unlikely you will be able to see this in an objective way.  

Jim Lahey

According to the News Messenger, Overmeyer did not release any documents because she was not sure if she legally could, since the documents were sealed under the Grand Jury proceedings. The article stated that she was going to consult the prosecutor's office to determine whether she could.

Public record requests are one thing, releasing sealed court documents is another. You can't have it both ways, or maybe your fine with someone breaking the law so that you can further your own agenda.

Peninsula Pundit

And sealing court records to hide wrongdoing is also breaking the law, wouldn't you agree?
What could possibly be in those records that would merit their sealing?
Let's just trust Sandusky County officials to do the 'right thing', eh?
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

FremontAlice

Matt:

You are very skilled in the use of the English language. The N-M story says "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." Clearly THAT is the complaint Judge Crawford is referring to. To say anything else is disingenuous in the context of the story.

However, you continue to run your story under the headline "Judge Says Law Makes No Sense." He did NOT say the law makes no sense, but your desire for continued rabble-rousing outweighs your obligation for accurate reporting.

Peninsula Pundit

Well, Alice, you figured it out.
Why can't Judge Crawford?
Why don't you tell him, the next time you see him, to do as the Attorney General has requested as a duly sworn officer of the court?
That would be following the law, as the Judge has sworn to do.
If there is nothing amiss, why is this request one which the Judge cannot fathom?

Matt Westerhold

You're digging in, FremontAlice. The News-Messenger's article inaccurately described the context. The Register made no complaint and the only court record filed for the judge to review was DeWine's court motion. It's not disingenuous. You're having the same difficulty understanding the context. The Register also has requested the judge's "oath of office" filed with the Sandusky County clerk of court's office and continues to await receiving that document or an explantion as to why it was not filed. 

the office cat

How did the N-M score an 'exclusive' on YOUR story?

FremontAlice

You are right, Cat, it is the SR's story. No other news media wants anything to do with it.

And how did the NM score an exclusive? Obvious. If you were a public official would you give the SR the time of day? If you even say anything to the SR you can be assured it will be twisted and colored to make you look like a crook. The SR will be persona non-grata in Sandusky County for a long, long time.

Peninsula Pundit

In the interests of full disclosure, Alice, would you mind stating the color of the dog you have in this fight?
It is obvious you are somehow associated with the parties involved.
I'm not asking for a name, but merely what your association is to Fremont law enforcement or relation to Judge Crawford.
'No other media wants anything....'
What is the News-Messenger? A pizza delivery service?
Both the News Messenger and News Herald are lapdogs when it comes to investigative reporting. A simple review of their publications makes this easily discernible. They print what they are told without any investigative component to their journalistic process.
It is exactly what is wrong with the supposedly 'free press' in America today.
After all the nefarious goings-on in Fremont are fully exposed, I will definitely be looking for your input at that time, for sure. I understand egg is good for the complexion, but is humorous to observe, none the less.

lmalley77

+5 peninsula!!

FremontAlice

I've got no dog in this fight; I'm not a public official; I'm simply someone who believes in fairness.

It is a shame that the SR confuses "investigative journalism" with old fashioned witch-hunt. Matt and his band of echos (at least some of whom are probably Matt, himself) assume all public officials are corrupt, then look for the evidence to prove it. This discourages good people from seeking public office.

Concerning the various cases and events the SR catalogs as "corruption," I'm sure there were mistakes made. Our officials are imperfect and human, and, unlike Monday Morning Quarterbacks, must live with the decisions they make under the pressure of the moment. But I think they are honestly trying to do their jobs as well as they can.

The SR does not serve society as it allows the faceless howling mob to scream insults and defame good people.

Truth2u

It’s the Registers RESPONSIBILITY to investigate and find FACTS, and if the results reveal nothing then all the better. Restraining the Press because something was already tried is the most absurd and dangerous viewpoint for a free society, we are suppose to be ruled by laws based upon absolutes and morals which should be applied equally to both civilians and government. If a corporation or an individual does ONE thing against the Law Crawford would be the first to convict and throw the book at them, but when a question of a tainted jury on a murder case is involved he doesn’t see the problem and doesn’t have time?
Without an investigative press that is FAIR, RESPONSIBLE and non influential with a political slant such as Katie Couric’s & Dan Rather’s slanted and weighted questions we cannot continue to be a free people.
The powers to be and the ignorance of the press keep telling us that we are a democracy, which we are NOT. We are a REPUBLIC which is ruled not by the majority but by LAWS and by the belief that the minorities have protection against the majority. The majority now is Crawford, DeWine and the entire County government, where is this family or any individual without the Press demanding representation of LAW being the rule instead of a time clock not allowing time to make a review and decision.
"The key difference between a democracy and a republic lies in the limits placed on government by the law, which has implications on minority rights. Both forms of government use a representational system where citizens vote to elect politicians to represent their interests and form the government. However, in a republic, a constitution or charter of rights protects certain inalienable rights that cannot be taken away by the government, even if it has been elected by a majority of voters. In a pure democracy, the majority is not restrained and can impose its will on the minority.” http://www.diffen.com/difference...
Knowing this fact its easy to see History, the Democrats wrote laws to enslave people while the Republicans who believed in the Constitution and the minority fought for freedom and continued with creation of the NAACP, United Negro College Fund, voted against Democrats and allowed blacks to vote, voted against Jim Crow laws, started the NRA to train blacks how to defend themselves, all possible because were a REPUBLIC instead of a Democracy. Well I don't like the statements of Crawford, they tend to sway away from the term, EQUAL JUSTICE, tainted juries or illegal juries is NOT JUSTICE.
I’d rather have 100 stories that lead nowhere than allow the government to abuse its powers one time. But if the press is slanted and unjust by calling evil good and good evil I will be the first to stand against them and have, but in this instance I support the Register 100%.

DGMutley

FremontAlice,

Nobody has suggested people aren't allowed to make mistakes. If they do, they do. My personal opinion is that Ms. Overmyer wasn't trained properly. That isn't any surprise; it happens all the time.

Truth2u

Maybe, but in view of her statements it appears to many she lied.

DGMutley

Yes, her statements have been all over the place. I think she's petrified.

Jim Lahey

Mistakes happen all of the time. Why? Because people are human. Does that mean we throw out all court cases because of mundane details? No. 12 people were there, and 12 people made a decision. The Register thinks it can play defense attorney and as soon as they think they have a point, everyone jumps on here and agrees with them.

Truth2u

Not trying nor do I wish to fight, just discuss.
But what your saying is its ok for a double standard. A company who doesn't train their people correctly fills out government forms incorrectly, do you honestly think Crawford or any other 'Honorable' would say, "People make mistakes', ? Never, but we are suppose to make exceptions for government agencies which pay and provide better benefits than most of the public jobs? And besides this, there is the issue of law, which was not followed.
Of course this is happening in the Federal areas as well, we have a president who basically negated the four levels of checks and balances. The President has NO power to legislate but he has taken it upon himself to postpone a legal law called the affordable health care act. He has no authority or constitution right to do so. Where does it end? We know where it starts, with the smaller things such as this, thats why Obama is abusing his powers because we have been lax in enforcing responsibility in the little things... just saying

Jim Lahey

I understand people can be poorly trained, but Tracy is not just some court secretary. She is the Clerk of Courts for the county. I do not believe she is poorly trained.

People make mistakes in any job. It is human nature, and we all have done it whether we admit to it or not. Even the Register. I honestly do not know enough about this "public notice" for grand jury to debate exactly how much of a mistake it was, but apparently it was not a big issue since the family's defense attorney did not do anything after the fact.

Peninsula Pundit

I did not ask if you were a public official, Alice.
I asked what your interest was in this case.
Many of your Sandusky County neighbors have expressed wanting to know more,as most people naturally would about the activities of their elected officials.
But not you.
In fact, you claim the opposite. 'Nothing is wrong, it's a 'witch hunt' (your words).
Is it because the SR asked, you now have a violent aversion to knowing what the truth of the matter is?
As you can see, Alice, that just doesn't make common sense.
So allow me to put the point to it:
Why do you protesteth so much?
Even the bard, centuries ago, knew that when someone barked as you do on here, something is afoot.
From what insight do you so righteously claim these to be 'good people'?
Or the folks who post here a 'faceless, howling mob?'
For all you know,we live next to each other.
Confession is good for the soul, Alice.
Come clean.

Jim Lahey

It's common sense. Why would a public official want to give an interview to the Register when they turn around and write an article about how they are corrupt?

Truth2u

Its deeper than this, the refused to give the Register the requested reports which they are mandated by law to do so, and no one is being held accountable.

Peninsula Pundit

Common sense has nothing to do with it.
Transparency begins at home.
If you don't like it at the Federal level, why do you excuse it on the local level where you have a much better opportunity to make your voice heard?
And if you're not willing to take the locals to task here, you sound ridiculous decrying what is going on in Washington.

jacksonbrowne

I don't ever remember seeing any notice's in the paper when a new grand jury is picked.

You are right Judge Crawford, there are more important things to focus on than this. It has been through the ringer and the answer comes out the same each and every time. Move on people.

Babo

If Dale Crawford has jurisdiction to preside over a Grand Jury in Sandusky County, Ohio as a retired visiting judge; (that's a big "If"); then he has committed a very serious breach of judicial ethics by commenting on a pending matter on his docket.

He can't pick and choose which laws and rules he will follow. Either he is subject to the law of the land (the US Constitution in Art 6 clauses 2 and 3 require state judges to follow the law and take an oath)or he is acting without jurisdiction in violation of the law he is supposed to uphold.

In my opinion, this is the constant theme in all the cases in Sandusky County (and other counties): Public officials requiring us mortals to follow their personal rules and regulations while they break Federal and State laws in the process.

No more proof is needed that Sandusky County officials are acting outside the Rule of Law with the AG of Ohio's and a retired visiting judge's blessings.

FremontAlice

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

holysee

Right.
We get it.
Never question authority.
Duly noted!

Babo

@Fremont Alice:

A member of the Dark Triad cult appears to defend the indefensible.

http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov.... See in particular Rule 2.10

We get it...you don't feel the law should apply to persons with your shared personality traits.

Truth2u

Such ARROGANCE, and from what I've witnessed in life MOST judges and attorneys have the same attitude. Try to reference another trade or profession that call themselves 'Honorable' and shout it to everyone when they walk in a room! Or how about 'Esquire' as if everyone else are less than Charmin and not worthy of their consideration, until of course they run for political office!

Hopperthe2nd

Read the NM story,please. And you decide what "MOOT" means.

DEEPsix's picture
DEEPsix

DALE CRAWFORD IS AN ARROGANT P O S.....I KNOW FIRST HAND FROM FRANKLIN COUNTY IN 1984..... SAT BEFORE HIM IN HIS VERY FIRST TRIAL......... P O S WANTED TO BE GOV AT ONE TIME...

Ralph J.

The OHIO CODE OF JUDICIAL CONDUCT, Canon 2, RULE 2.10 Judicial Statements on Pending and Impending Cases
(A) A judge shall not make any public statement that might reasonably be expected to affect the outcome or impair the fairness of a matter pending or impending in any court, or make any nonpublic statement that might substantially interfere with a fair trial or hearing.

peoplercrazy14

I just read the article in the NM and I saw nothing that would be in violation, he said nothing about the case.

sash

What Case?

mamaC

If Sandusky County has nothing to hide, why not offer the Register to go on In between the lines where their words will not be turned, twisted, mislead or left out etc.? Let's STOP blaming the Register and the Pi$$ing match of he said she said and MAN UP and go live on "In between the Lines" and lay "your" facts on the table? Our tax dollars already have paid for " SC Officials" to attend a Donut eating contest. Why not use our dollars to defend or set the record straight since the Register is not reporting it right? Matt, can you extend that invite to all these officials that seem to think your not reporting the facts? I would think that these elected and public employees would want to defend the county they represent and are paying their wages. That is if they have NOTHING to hide from.?

Truth2u

Didn't they REFUSE the Register requested reports in the past besides this now 'sealed' lie? I agree, if nothing to hide why all the run around they have and are giving the Register? The News Messenger better get on board with the Register, they will see that just because you make friends with a snake is no guarantee that when it gets tired of you it wont strike!
I'd rather, with all its faults, have the Register who asks the tough questions than wimpy papers and TV stations who have more time to cover donuts than factual investigative reporting. Oh, and isn't it nice that the Sheriff had time to judge donuts but couldn't take the time to PROPERLY investigate a possible murder scene? Everything the government has done with these cases DISGUST ME, and now we blame the Register for everything. Did the REGISTER destroy evidence, not require and autopsy, or did they refuse to change the death certificate? Gosh, I can't believe how some support a government when KNOWN sloppy work was performed and possible coverups continue.

FremontAlice

If I were a Sandusky County official (I am not) I would not give the Sandusky Register the satisfaction of "forcing" me to submit to their demands. Matt and friends can stay on the outside hurling their insults and accusations to their heart's content. However, if the good people of Sandusky County wanted questions answered I would cooperate fully with them.

Hopperthe2nd

I consider myself to be one of the "good people" of sandusky county, and I would like all questions answered.

Julie R.

Duh, I believe the good people of Sandusky County DO want questions answered --- the Limberios family and the Burdine family just to name a couple. For that matter, every law-abiding citizen in every county around should be demanding the answers to those questions.

Jakes Dad

And maybe we will when they have the time.

Jim Lahey

Donuts...right. No one has ever heard that before

Matt Westerhold

Thanks mamaC. The Sandusky County sheriff, prosecutor Tom Stierwalt, detective Shawn O'Connell and special prosecutor/defense counsel/private attorney Dean Henry all have been invited to be guests on "Between the Lines" on more than one occasion, and each has been given a standing invitation. They all have declined the invitations. 

Random Thoughts

Does anyone know if Erie County publishes the required grand jury notice(s)? I would think such publication would appear in the Register, so can someone from the Register answer this question?

FremontAlice

.....waiting breathlessly for the SR's moral outrage when it discovers Erie Country does not publish.

Matt Westerhold

You're waiting "breathlessly" FremontAlice? That's kind of neat.

But suggesting the Register has "moral outrage," or that I have "moral outrage" to these developments is not accurate. A newspaper's job is to simply ask questions and report information. If and when I experience moral outrage would be my decision to make, not yours.

FremontAlice

So please answer the question asked by RandomThoughts.

Jeff Strongman

That's his M.O.  Demand answers from everyone else, but refuse to answer a simple question when the answer does fit the story he is trying to spin.  You gotta give him credit though.  He never lets the facts get in the way of a good story.  Also, Alice, expect to be banned from posting for having the gall to criticize the SR.

Julie R.

I received a summons for jury duty last year (but there were no trials going on) and I also received one this year. I believe it was a summons for a petit (trial) jury, not a grand jury. One summons was from Sheriff Sigsworth and the other was from the jury commissioners but it didn't tell who the jury commissioners were. It ended up no trials going on in that 3-week period, either, but this has really got me curious now about jury commissioners. I guess I'm going to have to find out who the two jury commissioners are in Erie County.

Ctwhalers

Fremontalice the good people of Sandusky county do want answers but they have not heard from the officals there so the register gave them an invite and they refused. I wonder why. If they have nothing to hide then go on program. I have heard more of the grand jury in Sandusky county more than erie county. In Erie county I can not recall a cover up so bad that it refers to grand jury to. Yes Erie county is bad to but it seems Sandusky county has us beat. Plus sheriff Paul sigsworth is showing alot of sheriffs how the job should be done and I commend him for that. Unlike Sandusky county sheriff. Matt and the rest of the register staff helping report these stories are doing one heck of a job. They are doing what other newspapers will not do or afraid to do. It just seems like the messenger waits for register to put something in then they put something in Pertaining to the stories of jake burdine cordel and the rest of them.

Olga88

I totally agree pozycjonowanie stron

Texx Reloader

What should be obvious by now is these people don't care. They never have, and they never will. They are arrogant, bigoted, and supremely confident, they can do whatever they want, and the Rule of Law is only for some. "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others." You may spend an inordinate amount of time and money, and catch them on a technicality, but it will be a pathetically small victory considering the offense. The State of Ohio views it as a "local problem," to be solved by "local means," I.E. the ballot box. They don't want to set a precedent of getting involved in "local spats," so to speak. Sandusky County officials do NOT represent the demographics of 2014 citizens. They represent the demographics of 1990 Sandusky County citizens, before they sat back and watched almost every good job disappear in the county and did nothing. I have said before, there is enough people in Sandusky County to remove them, and their medieval mentality if people would just get out and vote out these heartless people. They know people will complain, but they are right in cynically betting, complaining is far as it will get.

Jim Lahey

Duh

Julie R.

@Texx Reloader: That was excellent and at the same time it sure is pathetic.

Jakes Dad

truth