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.




Sounds like he was involved in some type of fraud,  I would definitely investigate more. 


Despite Mr. Paul's impromptu, perhaps not thought completely through voice message, professional journalists need to realize that the general public is going to respond, often inappropriately to what they perceive to have been an injustice or misrepresentation of themselves. Professional journalists must suck it up and not take things so personal. I don't think that personal voice mails should be made public when people call to vent...just sayin' :)





The article says the SR did not attempt to contact Paul  for the original article ergo he did not have the opportunity to comment. This post seems to be a way of covering up the initial error with an ad hominem distraction. He was asked to comment on the profane voicemail on the website not the story apparently alleging incompetence. 

I really wish they'd post the original article, but that would probably only highlight their journalistic failure. It doesn't matter what a person's past history of cooperation with a news outlet was, they are still owed the opportunity to comment before publication if they are to be accussed of something negative.


So do you understand how you're misunderstanding the sequence of events?




Wiredmama, there's no need to keep repeating yourself unless you really enjoy reading your own words.  Saying something over and over won't make it correct.

You fail to understand the sequence of events, as davey points out in his comment.

No matter how many times Mr. Paul failed to respond or didn't answer the questions the way the newspaper wanted IN THE PAST, he deserved a chance to comment on  Saturday's article before it went to print.





@reader......then why didn't he? 

Sal Dali

Matt, This article and audio was a disappointment in journalism and more like a way to personally get back at someone you don't like. I actually thought it was pretty humorous...lol. You could have given it an interesting title such as "Laugh of the Day" or something. I'm not even sure he was drinking, it sounded more to me like he was upset, had nervous stuttering and clearly hadn't prepared what he wanted to say.  He basically just rambled. He's not the first politician that some people consider a jerk and won't be the last; some people are just jerks, political affliation is irrelavant. This story was bottomfeeder journalism. The readers deserve better. Do people need to give their approval for the paper to publish audio like this or is it just plain alright to shame a person and attempt to destroy their reputation  due to personal biases? Just curious. I don't know the guy, have only heard his name and have no personal interest in this story or any regardling him, however, it just seems to be less than an award winning journalism...to say the least. Was there a point?


 Matt, Matt, Matt, would you want your phone calls replayed for many to hear or any of your conversations with people that might be misunderstood about things you have done in the past. Tisk, Tisk, Shame, shame on you, this is just another way as previous said to get back at someone because of the questionable journalism tactics you use and the half truths you use. Bad one.


I think its a great thing that the register exposed TP for who he really is.  A drunken fool.  This is the same guy who cost Erie County taxpayers 10,000s of dollars because he was mad he LOST an election.  He drug the guy who beat him through a 20K legal fight.  Good for Matt Westerhold and the SR for finally showing the truth behind the Erie County Democratic party and Amy Grubbes goons.

Peachy Keen

This is petty and childish "journalism" by the Register, Grow up and maybe try being a more professional publication and quit acting like a bunch of silly, immature tattlers. Matt, you and the Register should be embarrassed to stoop to this level.


There is a bright point.  He didnt leave any threatning remarks.  Or he would really be in trouble. 


Its nice to see all the hardcore "300" of Amys Grubbes friends, who probably had tickets to be at the ice cream social , who are on her defending Amy's golden boy Tom Paul.  Its sad.  This guy is a trash can raiding fool who should never have been able to serve in public office. 

Julie R.

The former auditor Tom Paul isn't the only public official in Erie County that doesn't return phone calls --- the majority of them don't. The former auditor Jude Hammond  didn't, either.  He sure never returned any of my calls after the death of my mother which is when I found a flat-out fraud quitclaims deed filed in the Erie County Recorder's office dated seven months prior to her death that was prepared by some Lorain County attorney that I never heard of before.

Kevin Baxter's another one that doesn't return phone calls --- especially if he knows what you're calling about. The spokesperson in his office alway puts you through to his voicemail. I honestly believe they do that (voicemail) in the hopes that one will be angry enough to make a threat or something.

The courts on the 2nd floor of the Erie County courthouse are super good at ignoring people, also ---- especially the probate court. They take your money to file legitimate complaints knowing they have no intentions of addressing them. When you constantly call to see why they aren't addressing the complaints, the employees in those courts go out of their way to antagonize you. Once again, I honestly believe they do that with the hope that one will be ignorant enough to make a threat or something. 

I know how the whole bunch works in corrupt Erie County --- and Tom Paul is MILD compared to the rest of them!  


he said she said


The man sounds drunk.

I don't know him.  I don't want to know him.

You call about an inacuracy and you make an a$$ out of yourself when you leave a voicemail that we all know is recorded.  Are you gonna call again and leave a message that the SR misquoted your voicemail?



 Lmao...He said, "$hithead ".....That is tooo funny. 

Maybe since I work in a factory and live in a Trailer Hood I am not easily offended..because I really don't think the message was all that bad for a weekend..lol


  I've been through a few property re-evaluations with Tom Paul.  This is just one of the reasons why I wrote an article advising voters not to cast a vote for Him.  Speaking His language, He's an A@#!

Peachy Keen

re Sally S: I personally was not one of the special 300 Grubbe guests...wasn't even downtown that day, nor am I in any way defending Tom Paul, Amy Grubbe or anyone else. They probably ARE what people are describing them as! However, I think this kind of cheap, juvenile journalism is WRONG and unprofessional on the Register's part. Matt Westerhold comes across like a spoiled, thin-skinned, whiny little boy who likes to tattle on everyone in his first grade class.  Matt can't seem to take any kind of criticism towards himself or the Register and has to resort to releasing voicemails that the caller didn't intend for everyone to hear. The caller may be completely out of line, but so it the Register. I doubt that Westerhold or any of us would like everyone to hear our heated comments when we are angry and upset,either! The Register has sunk to a new low, and should be as ashamed as Mr. Paul should be.


Oh, come on, people! 911 calls are public record. Court procedings are (largely) public record. And certainly anything you say to a reporter (unless you specify it's off the record) is public record.

If Paul didn't know any better after his years of experience in public "service" (you'll note I use the term lightly), that's HIS issue, not the Register's. Besides, how can it NOT be newsworthy when somebody allegedly representing the public during the time in question behaves in such a defensive and unprofessional manner? It seems a lack of response to the press and the citizens of Erie County alike isn't the worst of Paul's problems! And if he tries to run again (which, given his extreme sour grapes attitude over the last election, I suspect he will), this is something about him I appreciate knowing!

Super Judge

 There it is people the true face of a liberal is shown. Slured speech, stagering for words then when his mind starts to shutdown on its self for what ever reason he starts to swear. Oh liberal tom boy why did you leave this message? Your just making Romney look better and better!

Julie R.

One thing for certain --- the Erie County auditor's online records dating back to when Hammond and Tom Paul were auditors sure are misleading. Not that it's really that important because title companies don't rely on online records, anyway, but nevertheless those online records sure are odd. If I didn't know better, I would have to say they are a cover-up for FRAUD. (sarcasm intended)  


 Let's start a new meme: leaving profane voicemails on Matt's voicemail to see if he plays them on the website! Here's his number: 419 609 5866


Wow Wiredmama you just don't give up do ya? Did you read the previous comments to help you understand the sequence of events?


and that'll be a large with pepperoni and lots of cheeeeese  ... $hithead!


How can this be considered 'NEWS"?  It is just another example of Westerhold slinging somebody elses mud to stir things up.  He never does anything positive regarding the city. He simply contibutes negativity day after day with this RAG. Pathetic..  Just because somebody calls one of your idiots what he truly is, you go all pouty.  Who is the juvenile in this exchange? Sure the idiot who left the stupid message laced with prifanity is way off base. Let me ask you Westerhold - have you  ever in your live used profanity? Behind closed doors and not in public, but watching you over the years is a sure indication that you are just as vulgar in the way you communicate inaccurate and pathetic articles day after day. You simply use the guise of the RAG to sling your mud - calling it jouralism. IDIOT.


Pretty newsworthy.  82 comments so far and rising since it was posted at 7 pm, July 16th.  Got to give Matt Westerhold credit for getting what he gets and using it to the SR's best advantage.

God Of Thunder

That was hilarious!!!!  Sounds like liquid courage...Must've been tipping the pint all day...What an idiot

Diane Schaefer

While I would have thought Paul would have known better, I can understand how he feels.  I have been the victim of Andy Ouriel's unresearched articles in the past myself.  What he fails to realize, is that most people see the first article and never the correcting one, if there is one.  Then again maybe he does this intentionally.

Case in point - the tip he got about John Curtis filing a complaint against me.  Never once did he try to reach me prior to printing the first article. Then when he did he failed to inform me that he was video taping it.  Thankfully I did not say anything that was anything close to Paul's comments.

And later, in a half hearted attempt to make up for the mistake, Westerhold says that he would vote for me.  A lot of good that did the Sunday before the election when the SR had waged a 5 month campaign against me.

But you know what, I am enjoying my time off. 

I am a visiting clerk for the State.  I am hired by entities in trouble to help reconstruct their records or new clients on the UAN accounting system.  According to Trustee Tim Coleman Perkins did not hire me because of a possible conflict.  You would have to ask him what he meant by that, there is not conflict on my part.  I have offered my services to the new fiscal officer a number of times.  But just like the SR I don't get a call back.  Instead they would rather pay someone $20 per hour plus mileage to do something I would do for free.

What I cannot understand is why Wiredmama222 doesn't understand the time line so many of you have pointed out.  He didn't return phone calls when he was auditor in 2010.  So now in 2012 the SR uses that as the reason for not contacting him before they ran last week's article.  They owed it to him and us to call again to see if he has a response.

And Wiredmama222 doesn't want to give us her name.  What's up with that if she went on BTL someone certainly recognized her.  But what about those people who cannot see or hear.  Why now let us all in on who you are (or who you think you are).

And correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't/didn't Paul work for Ms. Wilson, Clerk of Courts, to track down those people who were owed money or who owed money in the backlog of records?



Diane Schaefer says


Like !!!


Never trust a couple of clowns that think a snarky comment like "ballbuster" is cute.





@ Diane Schaefer,

The powers that be use the Sandusky Register to decide elections in Erie County.  The Sandusky Register is not a newspaper for the people but nothing more than an instrument of the powers that be to put out false information to elect their people into office.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for the comment, Centauri. I think you might be overstating the Register's influence regarding elections, and I can assure you we're not an "instrument" as you describe. We do receive inaccurate information from elected officials, and others, quite often, and sometimes that information does get published as part of news stories because it is not known at the time that the information is inaccurate and/or it's part of the documented public record that should be reported. But reporters and editors seek information from multiple sources and always strive to write stories that contain the best, most accurate information. The news team also produces followup stories when additional information becomes available that might refute inaccurate information provided by public officials in previous stories. 

With regards to Mrs. Schaefer, I've always appreciated her willingness and courage to comment using her real identity. I also personally endorsed her in her re-election bid in the "Between the Lines" Sunday column. That was not a "half-hearted attempt to make up for the mistake" as Mrs. Schafer suggets; it was an almost immediate response to a request from her for an endorsement. I felt she was the better candidate and that was the reason for the endorsement. Other information she has provided here in her previous comment is also just not accurate as to what actually occurred. It might be accurate to her own personal experience, her own view and what she believes occurred, but as to the better, more factual information, it is simply wrong, and a bit of a cheap shot. That's just my opinion, that it's a cheap shot. The Register never "waged" any campaign against her, but certainly she had an opponent who was campaigning for election and others who did not want to see Mrs. Schaefer re-elected. The Register reported on both campaigns, including a BTL debate, and used the documented public record that was available as part of the stories published covering that election, as she states.

With all that said, Mrs. Schaefer was a public official who could take the heat, and certainly there might have been other public officials who may have provided documented public record information about her that was not accurate. As I said, I do appreciate it that she has the courage to comment here and talk with other readers using her real identity. I hope other public officials begin to do that more frequently. It's not an easy task.

Diane Schaefer

Sorry, Matt, we will just have to agree to disagree.

First, what information have I provided that is not correct?  Is it fair to make that type of comment without an example or substantiation?

The way I recall the negative press was first when I did not understand Ouriel's question regarding some expenditures.  He does have a way of asking one thing one time and something totally different the next about the same public records request and not being totally clear on what he wants.

The second was when I didn't provide cell phone numbers and their users without first getting clarification from the Twp's legal counsel.  To the point that I got a threatening e-mail from Ms Welch that if I did not provide them by her deadline I would see another negative article.  The deadline was not met and as promised another negative article.

So I agree with KIMO  - "I want it and I want it now".  I would hate to see your response if you had had a public records request in since April 9th, and were just now starting to get automatic compliance.

Had I not asked for the endorsement would have I gotten one?  I don't think so.  And if I remember it correctly my request for the endorsement was a way to make up for the negative inaccruate press.  I remember that you said that you didn't think the SR could do that.  But perhaps you could in your column.

I also think a number of elected officals have started giving their reponses in writing so that they cannot be misquoted.  And even that does not aways help.

And excuse me - I never saw any articles correcting inaccuracies that have been printed. I am talking about the Twp in general, not just articles about me.  I know there have been times when at least one of the Trustees has contacted your reporter to give corrections.  But no followup article with those corrections.