Just 2 Pages of Baxter's Testimony

Matt Westerhold
Mar 23, 2010

The Register news team has asked repeatedly, under the Ohio Revised Code public records law, for the invoices and expenses from attorney Margaret Cannon and retired judge Joseph Cirigliano Jr. for their work during the civil service hearings for fired police Chief Kim Nuesse.

I estimated their billable hours alone from the hearings would easily top $200,000. The entire cost of the Nuesse debacle that Matt Kline launched on city taxpayers likely already is approaching $1 million.

We also have asked for the opportunity to review and copy the transcripts of Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter's testimony that Cannon's firm used during the latter part of the prolonged hearing process.

These legitimate requests, under the ORC public records law, were not honored or handled by the city in any way resembling professionalism.

The attorney city law director Don Icsman hired to deal with this basic function had not even reviewed the public records law, in my opinion, or appear to have any understanding of it when he called me recently to discuss the requests.

But earlier this week I did receive a two-page photocopy of some of Baxter's testimony, and I thought I would share some highlights:

CANNON: Have you ever been investigated by the BCI (state Bureau of Criminal Investigation)?

BAXTER: You know, I think I have been.

CANNON: Could you tell us a little bit about that to the extent that there's public information?

BAXTER: Well, over the last 10 years, one reason, of course, is that unfortunately there was a fall-out in my family. It came about as a result of my mother's death, and a will contest and there was a lady by the name of Elsebeth Baumgartner who also more or less inserted herself in that unfortunate situation and made some very serious allegations. And when you're in that position that I'm in, you know, rightfully, wrongfully, but I would probably say rightfully, that someone outside here looks at those, not because of the credibility of the allegations, but simply because the allegations have been made. And, in fact, I knew it was going on because the editor of the paper was working at the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram years ago. Matt Westerhold called me ... and alerted me and indicated to me that the BCI had just been talking to him ... he assured me that he advised them that there was nothing to those allegations.   

Baxter did exactly as Cannon asked. He told "us just a little bit about it" and skated away whistling a happy song.

Baxter's memory of his conversation with me way back then is distorted and inaccurate, and his entire testimony at the hearings remains under wraps amid questions of credibility.

Meanwhile, state Attorney General Richard Cordray does his best to make sure the report of the estimated $100,000 BCI investigation of Baxter's alleged cocaine use never sees the light of day.

Comments

ODNR1

It seems that Mr. Baxter cannot take the heat. Now he is suing. Hopefully the truth will come out in the lawsuit.

Anonymous

I just wonder....Who will be representing the Register in this? If I were to bet that it be K. Ron would I be far off? I wonder how Elsebeth might play into this? She certainly isn't a credible witness......But could she be vindicated?

SCHLICKK

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained libelous or defamatory statements.

Julie R.

A prosecutor suing a newspaper? Now I heard it all....But then what would one expect from a city that would fire a Police Chief for no reason at all but their own corrupt agenda and then spend a million dollars of taxpayer money on the SAME 'OLE, SAME 'OLE retired visiting judge SCAM.

Matt Damon

maybe someone will bring a new newspaper here when the register goes bankrupt and shuts down.

Anonymous

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained personal attacks.

Julie R.

Matt Damon: I don't think the Register will go bankrupt but Sandusky and Erie County sure is on the verge. That's what they get for all the years they got away with their corrupt activities!

NineMM

Wonder why the two brothers aren't named as defendants as well...........Shawn was seen dropping off a bunch of paperwork to the Register several months ago, and didn't a suit that E.Jay filed get dismissed a few months back? As far as Else being called as a witness, I don't know if she would be deemed "credible".

Anonymous

All lawsuits in Erie County begin with the number of the year they are filed. Baxter's lawsuit is time-stamped April 2, 2009 but the case number begins with 2008.........looks to me like this was already to be filed four months ago. ( or maybe it's a minor mistake by the Clerk of Courts who is VERY GOOD at "minor mistakes"----like sending Judgment Entries to incorrect addresses per the instruction of a certain magistrate of Binette's Court and then not resending it until almost 30 days later )

Anonymous

Why is this newspaper blocing the blog on the Baxter lawsuit vs this newspaper?

Anonymous

Why is this newspaper blocking the blog on the Baxter lawsuit vs this newspaper?

SCHLICKK

LET'S GET JUDGE CIRIGLIANO TO HEAR THIS CASE. HE'S A VERY EXPERIENCED JUDGE AND HE'S COMFORTABLE IN ERIE COUNTY!!! HE WOULD BE A GREAT CHOICE CHIEF JUSTICE MOYER.

Pat

How much is he suing for? Does anybody know the answer to that question.

And, who is representing that jerk, and is the county paying for his representation?

MontegoBay1

To: Pat & Julie R.

(Pat) Why is he a jerk???? Matt Westerhold has done nothing but try and destroy everyone who opposes Kim Nuesse and he finally went too far. Westerhold has NO defense here, you CAN NOT do what he did over the months and not have to answer for it. He did this all in the name of "defending" Kim Nuesse.

(Julie R.) You seem to have a lot knowledge, but never really say anything. You people are so quick to defend this guy who has a habit of sticking his foot in his mouth and someone finally called him on it. I am guessing Brian Baxter could care less if he gets one penny from this case, he just wants Westerhold to answer for attempting to destroy the reputations of several city officials. This is gonna be a GREAT trial, well for SOME....

Anonymous

If this trial ever even gets off the ground it will drain city taxpayers dry because that's where Bax will dip into to pay for it. As soon as the Neusse thing ends we can all be tired of seeing this on the front page every day.

baxtergoestojail

The reason the newspaper is blocking the blog of Kevin Baxter's suit is they have been WARNED under Kevie's advisement. All matt did was open up comments unde his article. We all know that Kevin is a piece of crap and his reputation was detroyed way before Matt was on to him. You'd think this stupid freak would step down and resign all he's doing is opening a can of worms to destroy himslef. its obvious he's operating on on a thin string right with this riduclous suit :)..... lol A law suit over the truth is saying hes on some serious drugs. maybe the coke has made himslef a believer of him being an honest man you think . Did he forget the lives he's destroyed as a vicious act or is he suffereing from some sort of amnesia ? Kevie get off the coke and get help you slime ball. You will never be respected in Erie County as a prosecutor it's too late ~ You've ruined your own reputation.

Anonymous

HI ALL:

The unholy attorneys are now in charge of the "Free Press."
Here is what they do:
1. Tell Matt to halt any further opinions Re; Baxter. (and he's probably not permitted to say that).
2. They want copies of eveything written at The Register regarding Baxter.
3. They will want copies of EVERY blog PRINTED by The Register.
4. Hopefully, a legal EXPERT in libel, slander and defamation will meet and explain why The Register has nothing to worry about.
-------------
Kevin Baxter is a "Public Person." All elected officials live in glass houses. Look up the definitions in an online law dictionary
of "Private Persons" and Public Persons."

My legal opinion: Baxter has no law firm representing him. They would not take it on a contingency basis. He has filed the legal action as a smoke screen, attempting to cloud what appears to be the end of his career.

Just what Erie County court will hear this case? All local judges will excuse themselves. Baxter may ask this case be transferred to another county. Where, East? He will probably offer that because of The Register, he cannot get a fair deal in Erie County --- IF there's an eventual jury situation.

The Register's expert legal team in Cleveland (the best in the country regarding defamation -- I know 'em), will drag this out because they know Baxter will have to foot their legal expenses.

So, Matt's hands are tied up at this time, and I suspect he is boiling. Folks, be patient. He will bounce back! I have been sued for defamation a dozen times---never lost a case. All Vs. Public Persons.
Have a good day Cobb

Now is the time

Kevin you should say your sorry to the McDonald fmaily for printing in the newspaper that Dewitt was an terrible person. You posed in the register with a 9mm convicing the readers that your officers confiscated the gun that killed Vivivan Johnson. You listed everything that you could think of about Dewitt that was bad press even when you knew he was never charged with a crime that you stated in your register. Maybe we should sue the Register also ? Kevin you were on this witch hunt to get a conviction for the murder of Vivian Johnson so wants wrong with the editors to be on one against you. You had the newspaper wrapped around your finger from the early 80's to up until now. Whatever Kevin wanted Kevin got it. You know Kevin, what you did back when is considered a volation of the 8th Ammendment...... How dare you sue the news paper now. Its fun when when you were having your way controlling Sandusky and the Press. it was game to you wasn't it Kevin. It was never an issue then so why is it now. Oh I know, the truth hurts right kevin the truth hurts. Now that the truth is being printed about you and people see you for who you are its a hard pill to swallow, right. So Kevin are you saying that the public should disregard, Krista Harris affidavidt stating that she witnesssed our dearest prosecutor sniffing cocaine at his home ? Don't forget we have a case pending in federal court against you Kevin. What goes around comes around. Your day is here, so face it and be ready to make yourself accountable Kevin. Good Luck Matt ~ You have nothing to worry about. Kevin's reputation has been detroyed way before you came on the scene. Once a snake always a snake.

Now is the time

Wow, Kevin's making headlines......

She mentions in her story that Kevin Baxter's used cocaine in the presence of Krista Harris as well as mentioning how Krista cahnged her story for Kevin to get a conviction against Dewitt.

Kevin are you going to sue June as well ?

http://www.northcountrygazette.o...

baxtergoestojail

Hey jackie, any updates as to when Dewitt's case will be heard ? Dewitt sure did get a bum deal by being railroaded byr Kevin. It's one thing to do time for something you did, and another to do time for something you didn't do. Doing 15 years in prison is not a walk in the park. Kevin gave Dewitt a life sentence for a piece of tale and a sniff of coke. I'd say he sold his soul to the Devil.....

I surely hope the Federal Courts will see through this and it turns out be favorable for Dewitt. if I were Dewitt when he can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I'd stripp kevin of everything including breaking erie county and go after the head of Moyer for allowing Kevin to be a corrupt prosecutor. Not only is Kevin in the spotlight with Dewitt's case Kevin should be shaking in his boots with Shawn Caston hit and run case. I hear Shawn is ready to let Kevin have it so hopefully this will help Dewitt along the way. According to Shawn's folks shawn has cooperated with Dewitt's attorney giving a tape confession of how he was threatened by Kevin. So as you can see Dewitt is not alone. Elsebeth Baumgartner will be next, and the list goes on.

God Bless You and your family.

baxtergoestojail

Oklahoma is finding Dewitt's case interesting. Perhaps the light at the end of the tunnel is closer than you think. I think the Feds are believing McDonald was framed by yours truly.....

In re: Dewitt McDonald, Jr., No. 06-4120 (6th Cir., January 10, 2008): Habeas Corpus; Second/Successive: McDonald is granted permission from the Circuit to file a second habeas petition based on newly discovered facts(!) This is a rarity in habeas corpus praxis but the facts alleged by McDonald fit the bill. McDonald was convicted of multiple counts, including murder, primarily on the strength of the State's star witness, Krista Harris. However, Harris has since alleged by affidavit that the prosecutor in the case threatened her with false criminal charges to not only deliver perjured testimony against McDonald, but also to engage in non-consensual sex with the prosecutor; and, the allegations were corroborated by an affidavit from the prosecutor's brother.

MontegoBay1

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?

baxtergoestojail

matt, keep them wondering what you're doing.

jackie

baxtergoestojail

jackie you never answered me about dewitt

Now is the time

~ 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"

Anonymous

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)

Anonymous

Julie R, yada, yada, yada.

Anonymous

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?

Anonymous

Is "I" short for "idiot"?

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