Warning: Former Erie County auditor uses profanity

Matt Westerhold
Jul 17, 2012

Warning: The attached audio includes profanity that some might find offensive. 

Former Erie County auditor Tom Paul was downright nasty when he called the Register this past weekend to complain about a story in the Saturday Register about property evaluations. Judge it for yourself. Listen to the message he left for reporter Andy Ouriel. 

Paul asks why he wasn't contacted for the story headlined "Property taxes could decline." Here's the answer: Because when he was the county auditor he frequently did not return phone calls, or, if he did, did not answer the questions reporters asked.

In his message, Paul suggests there was an inaccuracy in the story, but I'm simply not sure that's the case. In fact, I'm pretty sure Paul is rewriting history to serve his own purposes without regard to any accurate account of history.  

Listen to the message in the player below

With that said, I did contact Paul after listening to his profane message early on Monday. He did not answer his phone or return the message I left. In my message to him, I asked Paul to send an email directly to me specifying exactly what he found to be inaccurate in the story. I told him if he sent that email the Register staff would review it to determine whether a correction is necessary.

Nobody deserves to be talked to in the profane manner that Paul spoke in the message he left for Ouriel. Private citizens and even reporters and editors don't deserve that kind of abuse. But some in the "entitled wing" of the local Democratic Party believe they should never be questioned or held to the decisions they make, in any way, before an election, or after losing an election. Tom Paul is one of those Democrats.




WOW.......and we pay these people?????  This is just to funny.  I don't give a s--- if he is mad or not, it doesn't give him  the right to act like an A-hole like THIS.  Wow, he was really P-sted off.  And to make matters worse you got it on TAPE so he can't very well deny he said it.  I would keep that one until the cows came home.  LOL.  Sorry, fella, you said it, you got stuck with it.  You should have just answered the questioned when they asked you the FIRST time. 

If you didn't like the story, why blame the county commisses for it?  You had plenty of time to come down to the SR and tell your side or have them tell another story with YOUR comments.  But to cut loose and then skip a beat and say "you p==ed me off" and go on......boy! that takes the cake.  WTH is going on with the elected officials around here....have they lost their collective minds or what?


PS:  Got an offer tonight on the phone from the Democratic party to volunteer for Obama.  I said no.  when I told them why and what I thought of Ms Grubbe and their candidate...they told me to come and "dicuss" my position and what I thought of Mrs Grubbe and her handling of the Meet and greet and how she handled it.  And how that affected many and what they thought of their voting for the Prez.  They didn't like it.  Wanted to know why?  Guess they do not understand perception and such down there when told.  Perhaps Ms Grubbe should explain that to them.  I told them I would be HAPPY to tell them face to face what I thought of Ms Grubbe and her thoughtless actions in person. 



I wish I had Sunday's paper to reread the article, but as I recall the story said revaluation wasn't done in the past due to the auditor at the time, Mr. Paul.

If you print that assertion ( coming from ??? ), you really should have called Mr. Paul and given him the opportunity to respond. 

No matter how many times he failed to respond in the past or failed to satisfy you with his answers, Mr. Paul deserved a chance to comment on that assertion before it went into print.

Mr. Paul exercised poor judgement in his use of profanity in the phone message.

The Register exercised poor judgement in attacking the man's performance in office without giving him the opportunity to defend himself.

Writing articles and editing a newspaper give Andy and Matt a mighty weapon to shape a community, but along with those privileges also comes a great responsibility to always be fair.


How many times, reader, should a paper call a person before they run with a story?  5, 10, 20?  I would think that 2-4 times would be sufficient.  If someone does not call you back by that time, they aren't going to. 

If they don't, too bad.  I don't think they deserve to be given special treatment because they are elected officials  If you have checked out your story, have confirmed your info and know the info is accurate, why wait for a secondary checking ?   This man was off the hook with his comments and obviously he was  blaming his ECC for the info being "leaked".  He didn't like it one bit. 

He didn't call back.  He let 'er rip and it was in a verbage better suited for a sailor (no offense to the sailor's out there) then to an elected official .  How offensive for an elelcted official to take that type of response and use it toward anyone.  And to hear that he uses it even on people with whom he deals on other occassions is equally offensive. 

No sir, I maintain that this is NOT the type of person who should be elected again.  Not for work with the public.  Perhaps the wrong person got elected to office.  He obvously does not do well dealing with the public nor does he do well dealing with stressful situations or in dealing with the press.  '



Another nice headline from the "Sandusky Tattle Tale".  Seems like someone is using their paper to "get back at Paul" for calling them bad names....waaaaa.   I don't know Paul personally or professionally, I think he is still in the wrong for using that language.  The professional thing to do on the SR's behalf would of been to ignore it, not play the same game Paul is and get back at him through their paper. Sad.


Wiredmama, if a newspaper is going to defame the job performance of an elected offical, that official should be given an opportunity to comment.

Whether the official avails himself of that opportunity to comment  is up to him or her, but the call should be made asking for a comment.

Just seems a matter of fairness.....if you're printing 15 or 20 thousand copies of a paper saying some guy didn't do his job, you should have at least given him the courtesy of a call asking his side of the story.


@ reader....if you read the story, you will see that the "person" for whom you are defending was given the opportunity to answer for himself PRIOR to when that story was first written and failed to comment by not returning phone calls. 

I don't know how many times some is supposed, in YOUR book to be asked, again and again, I take it before they answer. I take it you object to the article even being published.  I don't see anyone on here even being critical of anything but Paul's language and I believe we ALL object to that and his manner.

If you find it ok for ANY public official to do and say what he did, then you definitely have a problem.  It is TOTALLY  unacceptable for ANY public official to speak to ANYONE in that manner.

No one is questioning his manner of operation that I can see on here, but his attitude and his demeanour are totally and completely wrong and for that he needed to be "called out".  Accept it for what it is and do not complain.  If you want to do your friend a favor, speak to him about controlling his temper and learning to control his dirty mouth.  It will serve him well.   Perhaps you could also tell him to return phone calls to the SR promptly "just in case" so this doesn't happen to him again.  Apparently they will "run" with an article even if he doesn't want it run.  They have multiple sources and he can't stop them from printing them,  So "his side" can be told and be heard. 

Better to cooperate with the press some times than be on the receiving end of what they print.  The pen can sometimes be a wicked tool, like it or not.  It can be far more powerful than 10 armys and machines.....including the poitical ones


I am a Democrat and proud of it. Yet, having said that no matter the party, office, etc. does one talk in that tone and profanity to anyone. We are judged everyday by not only what comes from our brain but also our mouth. One never knows what bridge you might need to cross at a later date so don;t burn any behind you.

I would say Tom Paul has done himself in ever running again for public office. He lost only by 7 votes and might well have run again. After this though is is finished and doubt would ever be chosen to run for any office.

A wise person once told me never fight the man who buys ink by the barrel and like ti or not SR buys ink by the barrel.


 Did you ever wonder why people use the profanity rhat they do?  It indicates a total lack of originality in their thinking.  They're using boiler-plate vocabulary to avoid any thought.


"...if you read the story, you will see that the "person" for whom you are defending was given the opportunity to answer for himself PRIOR to when that story was first written and failed to comment by not returning phone calls."<wiredmama222 replying to reader

from the article>"Paul asks why he wasn't contacted for the story headlined "Property taxes could decline." Here's the answer: Because when he was the county auditor he frequently did not return phone calls, or, if he did, did not answer the questions reporters asked."

Apparently we aren't reading the same article.


How could Paul state that property values had not changed?  Tell that to people who had to take a loss on their house to sell it or get out from under it.  The only ones that were getting a break were the ones that went down to the auditor's office and filed the paperwork and attended a hearing to duke it out with the auditor and board on whether or not they should get a break in their taxes.  The rest of use didn't get any break.  It is long past due that the property taxes decrease along with the values that have decreased.  Sure, it will hurt the schools and government but you cannot keep charging yesterdays value on today's values.


Wiredmama, you are wrong in your asertion I  am sticking up for "my friend."   I have seen Mr. Paul in a public setting twice and have never been introduced.

How would you react if your home town newspaper printed an article critical of you, yet hadn't bothered to give you a call asking for your side of the story ?

I am not condoning Mr. Paul's language, but I can understand his anger.



@ reader......the is the last time I am saying this.  I feel like a broken record. 

Ok, how many times does it say .......

quote from story "Because when he was the county auditor he frequently did not return phone calls, or, if he did, did not answer the questions reporters asked."

It also says another direct quote......."With that said, I did contact Paul after listening to his profane message early on Monday. He did not answer his phone or return the message I left. In my message to him, I asked Paul to send an email directly to me specifying exactly what he found to be inaccurate in the story. I told him if he sent that email the Register staff would review it to determine whether a correction is necessary."

What more do you want??????? (This is like talking to cement.)  You just don't get it.  He WAS asked to comment and failed to do so.  What do you want????  You cannot comment if you DON'T ANSWER THE PHONE OR EMAIL.. 

You sir, are wrong as you can be.  REREAD THE ARTICLE before you answer me again and then write to Mr. Westerhold and ASK him if he didn't ask Mr Paul to respond to the article. 

For heaven sakes do you need a house to fall on you to get this???  HE WAS ASKED TO RESPOND.   Get it?   If HE choses not to then he has nothing to complain about and neither do you.  NOW do you get it? 


Why the SR felt the need to put this message in their paper is irrelevant.  What it does though, is show the true colors of Tom Paul.  He is and always was a jerk, dating back to when he worked for the Bellevue Gazette.  Sounds like through the years, becoming an elected official has gone to his fat head and made him an even bigger clown!  Erie County should be happy he's no longer their county auditor, he should be ashamed.  He can't even cuss on a voicemail message without sounding like a complete dope!!!  Next time, lay off the hooch before you decide to call the local paper and raise hell!!

Sandusky Register Reader's picture
Sandusky Regist...

Matt Westerhold wipe that smug looking grin off of your face....If I was your mother I'd be ashamed of you for publishing such rubbish........This unworthy bit of journalism is just wrong wrong wrong on so many levels!  Where are your ethics!  This "newspaper" could drive a man to drink --- or worse.  I used to have a fairly high regard for this newspaper now I'm not so sure. 


Wow, dude was really upset.  I actually think he is right to be upset but diplomacy may have worked in his favor.  My only question is would this article have been published if he had not repeatedly used the F word?

His language was inappropriate but like all of us he has his first amendment rights.  His choice of words only reflects his anger and not necssarily who he is.  

A society that boasts how free it is forgot to mention that freedom it speaks of has a cost. 


And this is why I cancelled my subscription to this paper yesterday. Not because I like Tom Paul - I don't know him or have an opinion of him except he could have used better judgement and better language especially on an answering machine! It is the trashy ethics this paper has taken up. They put a certain political individual on a pedestal who doesn't deserve it, and they drag others through the mud. I am so sick of the onesidedness of this paper I will not pay for it any longer.  You will not be rid of me though. I will continue to bother all of you with my posts. Ha Ha! I agree wholeheartedly with Taxed Enough Already on July 16th 7:27PM.


Wow, Mr. Paul. CLASSY!!!


 When I first heard this last night, I thought it was very funny-literally laughed outloud.  Not so funny when I woke up this morning to find my 12 year old listening to it with my 8 year old in the room.  Yes, my 12 year old reads the paper online.  


Thanks, Sandusky Register.  I wonder how many other school-aged children are listening to this.  


Didn't hear anything here that I don't hear almost every time I'm out in public.  Unfortunately this is everyday language for some people and I'll bet these words have been uttered a few times at the SR.

looking around

Someone needs to attend the Dale Carnagie course on how to "win friends and influence people" or perhaps charm school........


Cockynurse...THE HEADLINE SAYS WARNING PROFANITY!!! Maybe you should be monitoring your kids while they are on the internet.Ten bucks says they have seen and heard alot worse!!





I have never told my children they aren't allowed on sandusky registers website for crying outloud.  100 bucks says most children would see that warning as an invitation.  Point being-this was BAD TASTE of the register to post.  


For the record-my kids are monitored.  

Sandusky Register Reader's picture
Sandusky Regist...

If there was one I'd click the "like" button for your comment Cockynurse.



Mr. Westerhold,

 Isn't this the sort of spiteful journalism that will discourage not just elected officials but also ordinary citizens from responding to or communicating with the SR?

You're  out to teach people a lesson? Respond to us or well publish something you won't like. 

IDK if Mr. Paul should have been contacted for the article or not because apparently you don't link to it. Maybe it's obvious he should have been thus justifying his anger? 

 Also is it appropriate to publish Tom Paul's phone number? I have a mild dislike for him as a person and official, but why humiliate him in this way? Because he didn't call you back while in office?

Furthermore,it's kind of sad that the main function of small town newspapers seems to be shaming members of the local community and recycling AP articles. That's just a general comment.


ROFL!!!! The end is the best....

"Gimme a call back.....ya sh*thead"


Don't even act as though 12 year olds have never heard cuss words.  Why is it ALWAYS about the kids?  Some things are meant for grown folks. 


LMFAO! Have another drink and shut the fluck up!

Julie R.

So what exactly was Tom Paul so upset about? Because the Register printed that when he was the auditor he neglected to pursue the revaluation process? That's basically about the same thing I heard last Monday when I contacted the auditor's office. I was told by an employee that the auditor was in the process of revaluating property --- that this had not been done for a long time. My first thought was taxes would be going UP until I read Saturday's paper. (my apologies to Mr. Jeffrey) She also told me that the new system they had only allowed them to go back to 2006 but it was probably even longer than that since the process had been done.

So is Mr. Paul denying that? Is that why he cussing like a drunken sailor?  


My question is regardless of political party is:

Where are these new property evaluations??? .........be they up or down..........where are they???. They are not showing up on the Erie County Auditors site.

Cuyahoga county reevalations have been all over the Cleveland Plain Dealer......Franklin County are out ,,,,where is Erie County? What's the hold-up ?   We are less than 6 months from when these are to become effective and levies are on the ballot in November that will be based on these. Be nice to know what our property evaluations are before voting on a levy.

Maybe I am missing something and know there are folks out there who will enlighten me. My thought is if other counties can get them out there why can't Erie County? I am sure county commissioners and township trustees and city officials all want to sit around and study and mellow on these and want to see them first but lets get the info out to we citizens who will ultimately pay the bills.








Good question Gardenman!  The county does not want to do honest valuations because they do not want to take the reduction in tax revenue even though homeowners have to accept the depreciated home values.  It is a complete rip off to homeowners.