Judge says law makes no sense

Crawford takes unusual step responding to pending court motion in newspaper article
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



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.'


Agree peninsula!!


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.


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!


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?


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!!


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?



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?


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.


+5 peninsula!!


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.


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%.



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.


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


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.


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?


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.