Murman report: A mile wide and an inch deep

Matt Westerhold
Mar 23, 2010

When he first began his $20,000 integrity probe of police Chief Kim Nuesse, attorney Michael Murman sent out a press release.

Anyone with “first-hand knowledge of accusations” against Nuesse should contact him. He also wanted to hear from anyone with “counter-accusations against other city officials.”

But Murman used different words to describe that invitation in the summary report of his investigation:

“(Despite) the almost constant presence of the investigators in the community over the past 10 weeks and a press release inviting those with information favorable to the chief to come forward, their silence has been deafening.”

Congratulations to city commissioners Dennis Murray Jr. and Craig Stahl, and city manger Matt Kline and law director Don Icsman.

You got exactly what you wanted: An investigation all boxed up that says exactly what you wanted it to say.

Comments

I

SCHLICK, I've read many of your comments on these blogs and, as usual, you're wrong again. However, I was inpressed that you were able to spell "IQ" correctly. Good job!

SCHLICK

HMMM, I'M "INPRESSED" TOO.

Retiree

Come on "I", don't get mad. The average person can not afford to buy drugs. The people in high positions that make lucrative wages can afford them. I witnessed certain people the way they act and you don't need to be a rocket scientist to know their on something. With everything that has transpired recently, there is justification for this county to be investigated from top to bottom. It would stop all the negative talk.

Julie R.

RE: "I" If my comments are "bizarre" that's only because the crap Erie County pulls off is more than bizarre. As for me being on drugs.....sorry, but I had to laugh at that one. That's even more comical then the "keep drinking the Nuesse Kool-Aid" crap........

I

SCHLICK, now I'm even more IMPRESSED that you caught my spelling error. Be honest, you had to look it up, just to be sure. Retiree, there are plenty of people in this area who buy illegal drugs every day, most of whom do not earn a lucrative wage, or even work for that matter. You and Julie R seem to miss the point...just because you don't like the way someone is acting or because you think that people now need to prove their innocence, you cannot compel another to take a drug test.

Gulliver

Nobody knows what it is like for the person caring for a family member with Alzheimer's Disease. I wish this was around 5 years ago. My grandfather cared for my grandmother at home. We all said he was a saint. He told us, that if we knew how angry and frustrated he became sometimes while caring for my grandmother, we wouldn't say that about him. I say he did the best he could with what he knew to do.

I could never care for someone in her condition 7 days a week. I still think he was amazing.

John Doe

Hey Jason -

How about posting a picture of your dog?

A question my dog would ask: "Where did that darn cat go now?"

Gulliver

and when the city builds me this dog park can they stock it with lots of squirrels?

Oliver Hardy

I for one am all for an open and transparent government. And by government, I refer to all branches of government including any entity funded by tax dollars such as the Police and courts. Those in government seem to have forgotten that they must answer to the people, not the other way around. To ignore the people with "no comment" or refusal to release public records is something that would happen in Nazi Germany or the USSR. Lack of open government and lack of transparency in government tells me that the government is hiding something.

skinny

If I were the Register, I'd call Krista Harris and pull her affidavidt that STATES she witnessed Kevin Baxter sniff cocaine....
Don't forget Kevin's never been investigated , instead he draws up an affidavidt for his defense. Something tells me Krista Harris is not lying.............

Baxter says Register made up cocaine story
County prosecutor files suit against newspaper

From Staff and Wire Reports

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) -- A county prosecutor in northern Ohio has sued a newspaper, accusing it of trying to destroy his reputation.

Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter says The Sandusky Register made up a story saying a narcotics agent had testified that Baxter had used cocaine. Baxter said in the lawsuit filed Thursday the testimony never took place and the newspaper knew its stories were wrong.

Register Publisher Doug Phares said the newspaper stands behind its reporting. Matt Westerhold, managing editor of the Register, was also named in the lawsuit. He declined to comment.

Baxter is seeking more than $50,000 in the lawsuit.

Baxter's attorney, Tom Merriman sent out a news release to several newspapers throughout the northern part of the state Thursday.

"For the past ten months, the Sandusky Register has spun a salacious and sensational tale of scandal: A cocaine-abusing county prosecutor who lies to government investigators and abuses his power to falsify public records. In reality, the Register's storyline is a complete fabrication," the release alleges.

"Driven by the actual malice of Managing Editor Matt Westerhold, the newspaper has perpetrated an unlawful campaign of defamation intended to destroy the career and reputation of Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter. Westerhold has made no secret of his contempt for Baxter and has falsely accused him of criminal activity ranging from drug abuse to falsification," the release goes on to allege.

"The reporting has been disgraceful," said Merriman in the release. "There is a clear public record which proves the Register knows its stories are false."

Baxter is being represented by the law firm of Landskroner Grieco Madden. Merriman said the lawsuit alleges the newspaper manufactured a storyline "built upon invented testimony, the distortion of innocuous facts, and the knowing re-publication of long discredited defamatory statements."

"I respect the role of the press," Baxter is quoted in Merriman's news release, "but journalism is supposed to be driven by the truth."

Merriman alleges in the news release, "the Register's attacks on Baxter grew out of Managing Editor Westerhold's public crusade to save the job of former Sandusky Police Chief Kim Nuesse. City Manager Matt Kline recently fired Nuesse following an independent investigation by attorney Michael Murman. Although Baxter did not initiate the investigation, Westerhold claimed in his column, 'Nuesse-gate is all about comfort for Baxter.'"

"While I don't normally recommend suing people who buy their ink by the barrel," added attorney Jack Landskroner in the news release, "Westerhold's extreme bias has distorted the newspapers' coverage well beyond the realm of constitutionally protected speech."

Merriman also alleges in the news release Westerhold "oversaw a series of defamatory articles, written by reporter Jason Singer. Singer's reports attempted to dredge up and bolster a long-discredited allegation that Kevin Baxter had abused cocaine. Specifically, Singer made up testimony and attributed it to an agent from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification. Singer wrote, 'A high-ranking undercover narcotics agent...testified there was a 'credible witness' who could substantiate the accusations.'"

Merriman said the cocaine rumor was originally circulated by Baxter's estranged brother Edward J. "Ejay" Baxter following a dispute over their parents' estate. Merriman said a grand jury indicted Edward in 2002 on 81 felony counts for sending out letters accusing his brother of drug abuse, case fixing, and various criminal acts. Merriman added Ejay Baxter pled guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice, "admitting in open court and again in a written statement that he had lied about his brother. The Sandusky Register covered the entire case."

"Six years later, the Sandusky Register resurrected the bogus accusations to defame and discredit Kevin Baxter. In his March 3 article, reporter Jason Singer wrote, 'Baxter's brother, Ejay Baxter, contends his brother regularly abused cocaine.' The article conspicuously omits Ejay Baxter's confession and conviction," wrote Merriman in the news release.

"I've never used cocaine and Matt Westerhold knows Ejay made it up," Kevin Baxter is quoted as saying in the news release. "He's given me no choice but to pursue this case."

Matt Westerhold did not return a phone call from The Gazette.

Pat

It's rather apparent that he needs to take a drug test and submit to a polygraph. He claims that he's never used cocaine. Okay, well no one that I know believes that. How about: crack, heroin, LSD, marijuana, and your favorite (Ambien).

What, is he know claiming to have never used any illicit drugs in his life.

Everyone knows the truth and truth will come out.

Oliver Hardy

Mr. White,
While I do appreciate having to register with a unique username on these news blogs, I myself like the forums as they are now. I am currently not registered on the forums due to lack of interesting topics started by others. My questions to you are the following. I am registered now on these news blogs. What will happen to my chosen username if somebody else decides to use the same username on the forums? If only one username is needed to sign onto all of the newspaper's online content, what will happen to the username currently used on the news blogs? For example, what if somebody else decides to use "Oliver Hardy" on the forums, will I still be able to sign in as Oliver Hardy on the news blogs? Would the person using the name Oliver Hardy on the forums take away my access as Oliver Hardy on these news blogs? It sounds complicated to me, that is why I like the forums as they are and keep things simple. Maybe the Sandusky Register should start up some interesting topics on the forums to get more people to participate on the forums.

Pat

According to Elsebeth Baumgartner, Krista Harris was set up on sham theft charges and wrongfully and unlawfully convicted due to case fixing in Erie County Common Pleas Court.

Documents filed in the court reveal that the State of Ohio violated Harris' rights in violation of Ohio Revised Code Section 2913.61(C)(1) and the Double Jeopardy Clause of the United States of America.

Harris has filed a number of affidavits against Kevin Baxter and yet none of them have been addressed by law enforcement. However, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals Judges in Cincinnati believe that Ms. Harris was victimized by a corrupt judicial system in Erie County and therefore considered Harris' affidavit along with the affidavit of Baxter's brother, (Ejay Baxter) as evidence that prosecutorial misconduct was a factor in the conviction of 3 defendants in a murder trial.

One thing is for sure, Krista Harris conviction was fabricated and there is no way in He$$ that she will not be exonerated because the court documents exposes' all of their crimes.

Several high profile attorneys are currently investigating Baumgartner's and Harris' cases. It won't be long before the real truth is exposed.

I

Sorry, but I'm having a tough time getting on board with a bunch of convicted felons and a couple of loser brothers who didn't get enough out of mommy's will. They all have axes to grind. Perhaps those high profile attorneys need to be looking for some more credible witnesses.

Julie R.

Curious about "I's" comment that a "couple of loser brothers didn't get enough out of mommy's Will"......why didn't they? Because of criminal acts committed by attorneys and/or judges and a couple of Eeeeerie County financial institutions maybe?

skinny

Hey "I" the convicted felons weren't felons until (KB) went after them. I agree with "Pat" The federal Court sees it differently. If I were KB I'd be concerned that my stradegy was back-firing ?

Kelly

Can I sue my human if he keeps letting me get loose and I get hit by a car?

Julie R.

If Ejay Baxter in 2002 "admitted in open court and in a written statement that he lied about Kevin Baxter" then how did he file another complaint against Kevin several months ago requesting that Tygh Tone handle it? Even better, why wasn't "his admittance that he lied" mentioned by BINETTE and then the Appeals Court when they turned down his Complaint? Something sure doesn't smell right there----not that it surprises me. I know how the dirty legal system in Erie County works. I'm also willing to bet there was a lot of FRAUD and CRIMINAL acts in the Baxter probate estate involving attorneys and others........

Winston Smith

'My weight loss for March was a paltry 4 pounds.'

A lb. a week is good. Don't sell your accomplishment short. It's better than gaining a lb. a wk. isn't it?

Julie R.

Curious as to why the new forum has several of MY comments stated to be "submitted by Matt Westerhold (not verified)". Matt didn't make those comments----I did. Don't like the comments? Then PROVE they aren't the TRUTH!

SCHLICK

HAS EJ REFILED, AND WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THE ARSON OF HIS MISSOURI HOME?

Winston Smith

Mr. Westerhold wrote:

'It’s reminiscent of that sweet line from the movie, Angels in the Outfield: "It could happen."'

Our nation's H*ll bent rush toward a planned green economy and the millions of jobs it supposedly will create, reminds me of the sense of faith expressed in the fantasy movie, "Field of Dreams."

"If you build it, they will come?" In the world of reality, the main character would more than likely have gone bankrupt.

ottonut44

Are they still using an hourglass to time the Huron sprinters?? They be slow!!

streak

She is only a sophmore register, so thinks are looking good for the streaks the next couple of years.

streak

She is only a sophmore register, so things are looking good for the streaks the next couple of years.

hancrack me up

mmmmm....Cabana hot garlic parm wings...

Grape Vine

3 dead, 2 hurt in Ga. shooting; professor sought 13 min ago

debdeb

hey kristen ~

glad to know you're still hanging in there! you're doing great! enjoy reading your blogs.

Just Saying

"Perkinsn" -- It's not a surprise to see misspellings on the blogs, but the headlines ??!!! Come on !

Hyman Schwartz

yeah... they are going to combine all their septic thanks and have a community hot tub..

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