Baxter needs integrity probe

Matt Westerhold
Mar 23, 2010

Fired Sandusky police Chief Kim Nuesse's civil service hearing is a dog-and-pony show costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter is the dog, and retired judge Joseph Cirigliano is the pony.

There are so many aspects of this hearing that need to be explored, beginning with the statement Baxter gave to the Murman investigators. The good prosecutor acknowledged 11 "inaccuracies" after the Register began questioning him about discrepancies in his statement back in June. He likely never would have scurried back to make the corrections if the newspaper had not called him out, because nobody would have known how much Baxter got wrong in the story he told.

And the corrections aren't really corrections. Baxter just scratched out some information and scribbled some notes in the margins of the report, in an incredibly unprofessional manner. And the inaccuracies -- as Baxter calls them -- aren't really inaccuracies; they are straight out lies. If you ask me.

Let's try to take a look-see

Baxter detailed a meeting he had with Nuesse, then-U.S. attorney Greg White, U.S. Marshal Pete Elliott and local law enforcement officials. He said he, White and Elliott educated Chief Nuesse on proper procedures during that meeting, but other meeting participants offered starkly different recollections. The Murman investigators did not bother to interview some of those witnesses to get an accurate description of the meeting, but we did.

Elliott told the Register Nuesse was not the target of that meeting. "We met so we could better coordinate our efforts," he said. "We wanted to find a way to do things better, and we accomplished that goal."

Oops. Baxter scratched that part of his statement, correcting his "inaccuracy."

Baxter told the Murman investigators that assistant county prosecutor Mary Ann Barylski was the gang expert in Erie County, even though he adamantly maintains there is no gang problem. But when the Register asked what qualified Barylski as the expert, whether she ever filed a court case with gang specification charges, or whether she had any other credentials that would qualify her as an expert, Baxter did not respond.

Oops. Baxter scratched that part of his statement, correcting his "inaccuracy."

Baxter said he never talked with Nuesse about whether youth violence in the county was gang-related. Oops. Erie County Juvenile Court Judge Robert Delamatre and Sandusky High School principal Dan Poggiali both testified Baxter attended a meeting where the topic was discussed. The results of the meeting were good.

"We changed some procedures, and the changes we made were effective," Delamatre told the Register in June.

Oops. Not sure whether Baxter included this one in the incomprehensible "scratch it out and scribble" corrections he made to the Murman report.

But now Baxter says he wasn't even at the meeting. He said Delamatre, who testified about the meeting at last week's hearing, "must be confused." The judge is mis-remembering, according to Baxter -- which means former Sandusky Schools assistant superintendent John Kaszonyi must be confused as well, because he testified about the meeting and said Baxter attended.

Baxter called reporter Jason Singer on Thursday and offered evidence he said was proof positive he wasn't at the meeting in question: A receipt from a Columbus hotel bearing the date of the meeting, Nov. 30. Baxter said he couldn't possibly have been at that meeting, and the receipt proved that.

Friday, he had the city's legal team introduce the receipt as evidence at the Civil Service hearing.

We checked. Baxter registered at the hotel at 4:45 p.m. that day. The meeting took place early that morning. That's one shoddy standard of evidence.

Dogging on Nuesse

Baxter said Nuesse told Delamatre she wanted to use the Sandusky Police Department's canine unit to conduct surprise searches for weapons at Sandusky High School. That's not what Delamatre testified to, however, and there was no SPD canine unit at that time.

Oops and oops.

Baxter testified he made the corrections to the Murman report because he wanted to "help Kim Nuesse" and make sure whatever decision city manager Matt Kline made about Nuesse's employment was based on the best, most accurate information.

Whew. That's rich. He wanted to help Nuesse, he said, so he made incomprehensible corrections. Less than 10 days later he advised Kline that Nuesse should be fired for her lack of integrity and her inability to get along with him and play nice.

Baxter's problem here, in my opinion, is that he lied to the Murman investigators, which resulted in his inaccurate statement. He never expected anyone to challenge him, and he never expected the newspaper would so aggressively pursue the truth.

When he testified at the hearing last month, he said there were 11 inaccuracies in the statement but under cross-examination by Nuesse's attorney, K. Ronald Bailey, he acknowledged additional "discrepancies."

I wish I could list each and every one of them here for you, but the corrections are incomprehensible ... just incredibly unprofessional scratch-outs and notes in the margins.

And I wish I could provide more information from his testimony, but Baxter refused to allow it to be videotaped, and Cirigliano -- without explanation -- ordered that the Register's microphone be moved away from Baxter before he began his testimony. That rendered the audiotape of his testimony difficult to hear and difficult to understand.

Man, this is one slippery dude

In most parts of the state, giving false statements to an investigator is illegal under the Ohio Revised Code. That state law does not appear to apply in Erie County, however, because not a single public official has expressed outrage concerning Baxter's "inaccurate" statements.

I have concerns.

It's troubling when the de-facto top law enforcement officer in the county is not held accountable for misstatements and falsifications. He should be. Baxter should be forced to thoroughly explain how he could get so much so wrong. An independent prosecutor should be named "to help Kevin" explain and to determine whether Baxter should be charged.

This independent prosecutor also should review whether Baxter committed a crime when he changed the Murman report. Witnesses -- and that is Kevin's only official role here -- do not have the option to change their statements after the fact. They can confer with the investigators and ask for corrections, or write an addendum and ask that it be added to the file, but they do not have access to simply change an investigative report.

Kevin's effort to correct the record could be the only time a witness was ever given that kind of carte blanche freedom to backtrack.

What's good for the gander should be good for the goose. It's an integrity probe, after all. Kim Nuesse has met the standard. Kevin Baxter has not.

And there, you have it.

Comments

someone who knows

There infact 3invest. looking into these facts right now,but are doing nothing untill Nusse trial is all done and cheaked over,Ohio was more than willing to help.More than KB will go down to,lol,lol.Cant wait!!!!

someone who knows

There infact 3invest. looking into these facts right now,but are doing nothing untill Nusse trial is all done and checked over,Ohio was more than willing to help.More than KB will go down to,lol,lol.Cant wait!!!!

Anonymous

So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10: 26-28

Anonymous

VERY WELL SAID!

Anonymous

Just take a lie detector test and give a hair sample. If your clean your clean to a lot of us. should be simple to do at level.

third base

Elizabeth stirred the pot and got carried away but she was right in more than one instance

Anonymous

What is hard for me to fathom is the notion that NO ONE will do anything to this man. Besides Matt, no one calls him on his rhetoric! This is truly insane and I just don't get it. Why hasn't someone called the AG's office to report some of his unlawful tactics and why oh why won't anyone run against this man? What does he have behind him, the mofia, what? There are many, many things that need answered, beginning with why his bosses are afraid of him!

Anonymous

Too bad he wasn't on it!

Anonymous

What does this counsel do? There is a female attorney in Sandusky as we speak who has affairs with her clients on a regular basis and was taken before this counsel and nothing was done to her because she wrote some sob story and (has the men she sleeps with write them as well- I've seen one), even after there was proof she does this all the time. Does this counsel do anything to trashy attorneys who are unethical?

Anonymous

Let's take a break and go ice fishing.

third base

Elizabeth called the AG's office and see where she is at , be strong Elizabeth KB is going down

Anonymous

KB is going down on is his girl. You guys need to check your meds and get a dose of reality. There are not that many conspiracies going on in America in total!! Hey and thanks again Sandusky Enquirer for being one of America's worst newspapers!!!

Anonymous

I wonder when will he have to answer for destruction he caused to Elsebeth and Krista.

Those two women were persecuted by that B.

His day is coming. He will be in court to face both of them. And letters have already been sent to the President Obama about you Kevy.

Taxpayer

And why would Kevin want the SR microphone moved away while he testified and the JUDGE agreeing to it? Now that does sound like some kind of pre-arranged agreement. I would be instantly outraged if I was that go down before my eyes. It there is truth, there is NO fear. Come on Kevin. What is going on?

Anonymous

Need a butt probe?

Anonymous

People now that KB is corrupt!Stand up people!

Anonymous

Don't put Elsebeth down. Her only mistake was to believe in the justice system. If Kevin Baxter doesn't get investigated soon, you may see many more innocent people sent to prison. Kevin will have to answer to God for all his evil deeds. Eternity is a long time to pay for his crimes.

Conspiracy Theorist

FEDERAL LAWS

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241
Conspiracy Against Rights

This statute makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same)...

Title 18, U.S.C., Section 242
Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law

This statute makes it a crime for any person acting under color of law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom to willfully deprive or cause to be deprived from any person those rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution and laws of the U.S.

Acts under "color of any law" include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within the bounds or limits of their lawful authority, but also acts done without and beyond the bounds of their lawful authority; provided that, in order for unlawful acts of any official to be done under "color of any law," the unlawful acts must be done while such official is purporting or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties. This definition includes, in addition to law enforcement officials, individuals such as Mayors, Council persons, Judges, Nursing Home Proprietors, Security Guards, etc., persons who are bound by laws, statutes ordinances, or customs. "

Anonymous

All I can say is WOW !!!! It's not too many reporters who are willing to challenge Kevin Baxter and his integrity openly to the public. Thank you Matt ! Kevin is very good at making up stories, as a matter of fact he made the story up about the three men involved in a drive-by murder case that happened 14 years ago today almost 15 years.

We continue to fight Kevin on this. Kevin knows that Dewitt is coming home. Kevin has to answer for his actions on this one also. If the Ohio Disciplinary Office knew what was best they would get rid of KEVIN before the state of Ohio is completely bankrupt as a result of his misconduct. I bet Kevin is having a sleepness night over this write-up . Keep reporting...... I'm passing this along to Dewitt's attorney..... Kevin has a way of making up lies....Jackie White

Anonymous

that Kevin needs his integrity probed! He has NO INTEGRITY! Thank You Matt for exposing ERIE COUNTY OFFFICIALS.

Anonymous

Exposing and getting rid of them is two different things.

Anonymous

Will someone please please please run against Kevin Baxter in the next election?

Anonymous

I keep reading akll the accusations and wonder to myself:

WHERE IS THE CONCRETE EVIDENCE THAT SUPPORTS ALL THIS AND WILL HOLD UP IN A COURT OF LAW?

WHY ISN'T IT BEING PRESENTED?

I AM TIRED OF BEING CALLED A BAXTER LOVER MERELY BECAUSE I FOLLOW THE RULE OF LAW(INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN QUILTY). I SIMPLY REFUSE TO CONDEM A MAN BASED PURELY ON HERESAY WITH ZERO, I REPEAT ZERO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE ALLOGATIONS AGAINST HIM.

I will pass judegment only when i see evidence proving these allogations.

If this is the general trend for erie county, God help anyone facing a jury trial in this county.

Anonymous

There is concrete evidence. The problem lies with the fact that the good ole boys keep it from being presented in a Court of Law. Baxter has more control than you can imagine. Look up some of these allegations. Look at court documents. I absolutely believe someday the truth will come out about this prosecutor. If you sweep too much dirt under the rug, you will eventually trip over it! His day is coming soon! It's just going to take the right person to open the door to allow others to come forward to bring the justice that is deserved to the people who have suffered through this corruption.

Anonymous

to open that door. Cirigliano: "THE HACK, THE LIAR, THE BAXTER BUDDY,and RENT-A-JUDGE FIXER is doing his best to put Matt on trial. Show us the beef Matt.

TILIS

these people have no integrety. Their "relationship to the truth" according to a quote of Mr. Kline, needs to be examined in depth.

I think that comment will haunt him forever in this town. What a comment when your own hands are dirty and you cannot tell the truth yourself.

Why is he ('protected from on high.....')(a line from the 'Usual Suspect' movie). It appears that ALL of the boys and some of the girls allowed in the club have a great deal to answer for.

I, for one, as a part of this city's residents, find it weird, how the double stand has not changed in 40 years.

This is EXACTLY why this city has failed to thrive. The 'lies' that are told, ineffective political posturing and leadership is the name of the game and it needs to stop.

Why have we no one to step up to the plate and hit a grand slam. Is it FEAR? Is it IGNORANCE? Is it a lack of CARING?

Someone needs to answer the questions, not just comment on them and those answers TRUTHFUL ONES, need to come from those who have been chosen to lead.

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