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


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.


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.


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.


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


We get it.
Never question authority.
Duly noted!


@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.


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!


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

DEEPsix's picture


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.


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


What Case?


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.?


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.


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.


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?


.....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.


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.


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.


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.