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

curious

RE: sandumpy
Memories..........cherish them! That's all the Streaks football program will ever have. Sad but true!

reader

Lately you have posted fewer breaking news stories from the current newspaper, sometimes posting them a day later. Did you decide you were giving away too much for free?

Also, its a bit insane to splash a teaser headline like the one this evening about the stimulus money for local projects without telling us which projects are being funded. You'll drive readers to other news souces and make your web site irrelevant.

Leslie524

I love ya girl..ur just fine with out him. You and ur kids deserve sooo much better. U deserve someone who will love you for YOU, not what what u can do for him or give him.

Anonymous

I noticed Matt hasnt written a new article in a while, wonder what he's doing??? LMAO!!!!!

Julie R.

RE joecitizen: I noticed you and the other Nuesse haters never responded to the good points that were brought up by firelands411. Any reason why?

jasonsinger

LOL. My two Cy Young predictions, Josh Beckett and Josh Johnson, got off to great starts!

skinny

matt, keep them wondering what you're doing.

jackie

skinny

jackie you never answered me about dewitt

Anonymous

~ This reporter doesn't have a clue. Cleveland Reporter states to Kevin defesne.

by MERRIMANLGM, 4/6/09 20:45 ET
Prosecutor Sues Sandusky Register for Defamation Newspaper Invented Testimony to Ignite Cocaine Controversy
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.

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 reporting has been disgraceful,” said Tom Merriman, a former investigative journalist and one of Baxter’s attorneys. “There is a clear public record which proves the Register knows its stories are false.”

The lawsuit, filed today in Erie County Common Pleas Court by the law firm of Landskroner Grieco Madden, 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 said, “but journalism is supposed to be driven by the truth.”

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.”

In his blog on SanduskyRegister.com, reporter Jason Singer details his boss’ “rage” towards Baxter. Singer writes of Westerhold, “He believes Baxter dodges hard questions, hides from the truth, participates in shady dealings and is basically the Lord Voldemort of Erie County.” The article even provides readers with a link to a description of Voldemort (and presumably Baxter) as “a raging psychopath, devoid of normal human responses.”

“While I don’t normally recommend suing people who buy their ink by the barrel,” added attorney Jack Landskroner, “ Westerhold’s extreme bias has distorted the newspapers’ coverage well beyond the realm of constitutionally protected speech.” Landskroner is leading Baxter’s legal team which also filed a demand for records detailing Westerhold’s role in editing the Baxter stories.

Westerhold not only wrote columns falsely accusing Baxter of lying to Murman’s investigators and falsifying a public record, he also 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.”

The cocaine rumor was originally circulated by Baxter’s estranged brother Edward J. (“Ejay”) Baxter following a dispute over their parents estate. In 2002, a grand jury indicted him on 81 felony counts for sending out letters accusing his brother of drug abuse, case fixing, and various criminal acts. Ejay Baxter ultimately 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.

“I’ve never used cocaine and Matt Westerhold knows Ejay made it up,” said Kevin Baxter. “He’s given me no choice but to pursue this case.”

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ THE COMPLAINT, LOG ONTO WWW.TEAMLGM.COM, CLICK ON "FILED COMPLAINTS"

SHERI

It's time to worry about yourself and everything else will fall into place.......you're doing a great job, keep it up!!

Julie R.

Baxter said he's never used cocaine......so why not take a drug test and end all rumors then? Why create half a dozen other issues to cover up the REAL ONE?

Baxter's Cleveland attorney, Tom Merriman, said "the reporting has been disgraceful"....

All I've got to say to that MISTER MERRIMAN is-----it's disgraceful what attorneys from the Lorain-Cuyahoga County area are getting away with in Erie County. It's disgraceful how Erie County is helping these crooks BENEFIT from their own FRAUD in this County. It's disgraceful how the sitting judges in corrupt Cuyahoga County are covering up cases of fraud for ERIE COUNTY.

And last but not least----it's DISGRACEFUL how the taxpayers in Erie County are getting RIPPED OFF because of the GOBs dirty agendas using the well worn-out retired visiting Cuyahoga County judge SCAM and you Cleveland attorneys! Stay in your own dam* corrupt County! (and while you're at it take the GOBs from Erie County with you)

KGleis's picture
KGleis

I would just like to give everyone an update as of Today April 8th, I am down a total of 24.2 lbs ..... Only 76 pounds to goal !!! I'm taking it 1 day at a time .... Kristin

Julie R.

A prosecutor alleged to be on drugs is probably the LEAST of the serious issues in this county. Like retiree said......this county needs to be investigated from the top to the bottom!

kjr71513

The Indians made a huge second half push last year and to give up on them after two games is just dumb...There are high hopes for this team and there is no reason they can not win the division.

I

Julie R, yada, yada, yada.

SHERI

CONGRATS on your 24lb loss...........you are doing awesome!!!!!!

edithann

Take the test Baxter. If you're as pure as the driven snow, a test will show it and let's see that investigatory file, or did someone get paid off to bury it?

Retiree

Is "I" short for "idiot"?

Julie R.

Had the situation been reversed---had it been Nuesse alleged to be a drug user---I'm sure the city law director and/or the city's Cleveland attorneys would have demanded a drug test be taken immediately.

As per usual the city is showing how corrupt they are when it comes to illegal double standards.

I

Retiree, sticks and stones...But, to answer your question, no. To Julie R, your comments are so bizarre that I'm sure that you must be on drugs. I think that you should have a drug test to prove that you aren't. Are you going to run right out to get one? I didn't think so.

SCHLICK

I stands for lack of IQ. You're in the minus.

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.

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