Sandusky County's finest

Matt Westerhold
Dec 19, 2013

 

Attorney Dean Henry says he's not making a fuss. 

"I'm not complaining, Matt,” he told me in a recent email.

Really? It sure feels that way. 

Here's some recent commentary directed at the Register, and me, from Henry, who represents Sandusky County Coroner John Wukie, the man who believes suicide can be accidental.

*

“You have to stop making things up, Matt.”

“Did you sleep through Ethics class in Journalism?”

“You're a blowhard.”

“You conjured it from thin air.”

“You screwed up again.”

“You're an amateur, Matt.”

“My characterization of you as a poor editor and writer who doesn’t really give a damn about the truth is right on target.”

“You're just making things up.”

“(Reporter) Emil Whitis made that up.”

“You could easily prove me wrong, Matt.”

"Absolute bullshit.  Are you making this up, as well?"

"You’re lying and you’re busted lying."

“You’re just going to have to suck it up and be a man.”

*

I've attempted to address each of his concerns, but try as I might, I don't seem to be getting through to him. 

Comments

Ithink

How unprofessional of a supposedly educated man. If he thought his client (Wookie) was correct in his actions (or inactions), then no one or nothing should be able to get under his skin, like a tenacious reporter doing his job. Good job, Matt.

areyt55

Jesus`s postlng is terrific... last wednesday I bought a top of the range BMW M3 since getting a check for $6747 this-past/five weeks and-also, $10k lass month. with-out a doubt this is the nicest-work I've ever had. I began this 5 months ago and right away started making a nice over $71, p/h. view website http://ow.ly/s06n5

Contango

@ Mr. Westerhold:

Nice out of context hatch job.

"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is" - Bill Clinton

Matt Westerhold

The best meaning for the word "is" might be "it exists." 

Contango

Re: "The best (snip)"

AGAIN, it depends on the context.

(I wrote that slow for the possibility of improved comprehension.)

Wonderful scent to your dirty laundry.

deertracker

No, you wrote it slow because YOU are slow. It's the Kessler's pooh! That scent is your clean laundry!!!!!

John Harville

Contango... No. You wrote it slowLY.
Bad grammar ALWAYS destroys even unoriginal sarcasm.

Grizzley25

Why dont you put up the whole email? That way everyone can read it and form an unbiased opinion.

Matt Westerhold

I considered that approach. But the emails are nauseating, repetitive, unwieldy and there are more than 30 of them. The way this blog post was developed was an attempt to keep it simple. I don't believe I've been rude, impolite or done any name calling in my responses to Mr. Henry's inquiries. I have attempted to thoroughly, completely and fairly address each one, despite the aggressive and confrontational nature of those inquiries.

Grizzley25

Well i am sure as an unbiased editor you would not mind putting them up. I would like to read them to see the context in which these "statements" were said.

Ithink

Does that even matter?! Henry said these things regardless of what Mr Westerhold asked or said. Matt could have called him a pompous ass (he would have been correct), but it was up to Henry on how he REACTED to the statements or questions. He would have been better off not saying anything- but obviously, Mr Westerhold got to him. Was Henry's responses intentional or an accident, ...er...I mean, suicide?
Another thing that intrigues me, why do you people read the SR if you are so opposed to the editor and the paper's contents? I find that amusing.

Grizzley25

Im not opposed to the opinion section. But before you post literally about 3 sentences of what he said out of 30 pages of emial as matt states. So if you want to make it an article about what he said and how henry is an a** give out the emails so people can see it. All the justice for jake followers want people to hate this guy. Give them a reason besides 3 sentences chopped out of 30 pages of email.

Ithink

Those 'replies' were sufficient enough proof to drive home the point that this guy is an insensitive moron. As a J4JE supporter, I am not in the business of trying to get others to 'hate this guy'- that's up to the educated individual. Integrity, justice, and doing the right thing is what is on my agenda.

Contango

Re: "But the emails are nauseating, repetitive, unwieldy and there are more than 30 of them."

You know the joke -

As the grizzled, old newspaper editor said to the wet-behind-the-ears cub reporter:

If YOUR mother says that she loves you - check it out.

Trust me? Yea, OK.

Nemesis

Matt, you could link to them, so those who want context can have it.

Sam

Congratulations Mr. Henry and thank you Mr. Westerhold you got views shared by many printed in this newspaper without being banned.

Ctwhalers

Well put matt. You put up the main points up.

Turduckenbreath

Newsflash to Matt: The Limberios story is not about you.

If Dean Henry was sending you a private email, it should remain private. This story was over 24 hours after Mike DeWine's announcement, and trying to squeeze continued public interest out of a manufactured dispute between you and Henry demeans the good work previously done by The Register.

Let the story, like Jacob Limberios, have some dignity in its demise. It's over.

Matt Westerhold

As a public official writing about the public's business, the emails from Mr. Henry clearly are not a private matter. A court case is still pending and the death certificate has not been changed to reflect Mr. DeWine's findings. Coroner Wukie appears  to continue to believe a suicide can be accidental, which would be a new definition and category in the death registration field if that is found to be an accurate description of the manner of death. The story, unfortunately, isn't over.

KnuckleDragger

Don't look for the death certificate to be changed willingly. If you have ever met or had a conversation with Dr Wukie you know that he is a pompous, arrogant jerk, who believes he is better than everybody else. Try calling him at 2 am to investigate a suspicious death. He will scream and throw a tantrum on the phone, loud enough so even the grieving family can hear him shouting his obscenities, all because you woke him up to do his JOB.

Contango

Re: "a suicide can be accidental,"

Can accidental death be ruled a suicide?

Why is the reverse not possible?

Enjoy your p*ssing match.

deertracker

If it is an accident it is NOT suicide. PERIOD! Snap out of it pooh!

White Owl

Matt, at least one other ME (national credentials) stated there was precedent for a finding of accidental suicide due to the degree of recklessness of Jake's conduct. The Lucas County Coroner's office also agreed.

There are "Terms of Art" in different professional fields that do not have the same meaning in our daily language. I understand your frustration but this one side presentation is unprofessional, as are Henry's statements and doesn't help either one of you.

deertracker

How do you accidentally kill yourself if you were intending to kill yourself? Explain that to me. What reckless conduct are you referring to? Do you really believe he scratched his head with a loaded gun and it just happened to discharge at that exact moment? GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!

Simple Enough II

Well, handeling a handgun knowing it is loaded and pointing it in your own direction with your finger more than likely on the trigger and I would have to assume the hammer drawn back to some degree, doesn't make it sound entirely accidental now does it. There had to be known risk in doing that especially since so many of his friends and family stated over and over what a safe hanldler of handguns he was (contrary to the experts who watched video of him hanldling and firing a handgun).

deertracker

Did the experts see him scratch his head with the gun? You can't assume the hammer was drawn back. Regardless of how you spin it, unless his INTENT was to kill himself it in no way can be called a suicide!

mikesee

Did anyone see him not point it at his head?

Nemesis

Look, unless he was shot intentionally, there was lethally irresponsible handling of a loaded firearm by SOMEONE in the room. No matter how you spin and dance around it, that constitutes reckless behavior by the person handling the gun AND by anyone who remains in such a hazardous situation.

I don't have any idea who most directly caused that weapon to discharge, but everyone in the room was guilty of a farm animal level of stupidity to remain in the room where someone was handling a loaded gun in an irresponsible manner. Bullets don't care if you're just goofing around.

John Harville

turfuckenbreath... where do you get the idea an email from a public official to a public official making a comment on a public issue possibly could be private?
The words and phrases are actionable. The entire email forever and always remains the property of the sender - unless one uses a public transport (email, mail, carrier pigeon) to deliver a threat to body or private reputation.

Nemesis

The words are only actionable if made public, but since Matt is the one who made them public, he's limited to suing himself.

White Owl

Not a fan of Dean Henry, but it is easy to engage in misleading character assassination if the statements are not provided in context. As a member of the press/guardian of the First Amendment, Matt should know better.

If these statements are truly representative of Henry's meaning, then Matt should file a grievance with the Supreme Court Disciplinary Counsel office. Then again, he might just find himself in contempt of court or worse.

Also, as hard as this is for many to accept, the cause of death is a legal-medical determination made by a coroner or ME. So it isn't the definition of "is", it is the legal definition of intent.

Matt, IMO, could put the power of the press to better use by leading the call for a federal investigation of SC LE and officials including Henry for official misconduct rather than continuing to play on their home court.

Unassumer

rather THAN

White Owl

Thank you for pointing out that error.

KURTje

Sadly many American children have few to look up to. Most adults are ego/agenda driven.

Unassumer

Isn't it strange how people make things up and then accuse others of making things up? LOL. His statements obviously show how unreliable and untruthful he is. It's very unprofessional and the last place I would make any of those type of comments would be to someone that could publish them!

KnuckleDragger

Come on Matt, put a fork in it, this story is dead. Move on to more important news.

John Harville

Remember Ella... the story is NOT dead as long as an arbitrary explanation remains with the highest legal official stating opinions (did you read the whole opinion?)contrary to local coroner who - because of ego - will not admit he was wrong for not going to the scene, for not talking to the parties, for not insisting all evidence be secured and simply change a certificate so his daughter does not have to live with knowledge that one pompous egotistical man couln't 'man up'. And no, he can't sue me, because he's a public official and I can prove my statements (though he really doesn't want me to).

mikesee

d e a d

mikesee

Exercising my right to free speech I once again find it funny as helsinki that a second rate paper slams a lawyer.

I liken the quality of the SR to the National Enquirer. Want something to brighten your day? Read the SR! A lot of stupid crap and by reading this article one can see where it starts.

deertracker

Do you read the NE? If you do you are not credible AT ALL! Lawyers are not second rate??? Go lay down and quit barking!

mikesee

Only at your house after dinner.

deertracker

You mean my backyard!

mikesee

patio.

Ithink

Why then, do you not only read the SR, but go to the trouble of commenting on its' contents? Do you read the Enquirer also? Do you write them letters about their contents? If your opinion is accurate, you have a lot of time on your hands that is wasted.

deertracker

Why do some of you need context? "You're an amateur", or "You're a blowhard" does not need to be explained. It means exactly what he meant it to mean. DUH??? It amazes me how some of you attack Matt for doing his job but have no issue with Wukie not doing his job that he is paid to do by the taxpayers. There is NO such thing as accidental suicide! PERIOD! Did some of you show up at school at all?

White Owl

Check the archives of this newspaper and you will find stories on Kevin Baxter's lawsuit for libel against this newspaper. He lost because of the context of the statements and insults directed at him.

It's the same situation here. These are insults to Matt, but Henry may have a basis for making them. We don't know.

Matt should publish the entire exchange in a PDF link.

John Harville

LIBEL... must be 1. untrue. 2. published. 3. malicious.

Sullivan v the New York Times (SUPCO) Public figures cannot be libeled by fair comment on their public functions as public officials.

White Owl

The key phrase is "fair comment". By not providing the context of the statements, (which is required for a proper First Amendment analysis) it is impossible to determine whether Matt's statements about Dean Henry are "fair comment".

Similarly, while Matt is not a public official, he is a public figure and without context, it is impossible to determine if Dean Henry's comments about Matt are "fair comment" or "opinion".

Also, there is a cause of action in Ohio called False Light Invasion of Privacy which differs from Libel in that it addresses efforts to publicly portray some one in a "false light" or misleading way. (Yellow journalism).

Finally, Dean Henry is a public official engaged in pending litigation and could possibly ask that Matt be held in contempt of court for trying to undermine the administration of justice.

Publishing the emails in their entirety would eliminate any possibility that Dean Henry has some valid complaints about the news coverage, unless of course the emails show Henry was reacting to false or misleading statements made by Matt which would explain why they are not published.

Ithink

I agree, deertracker. These people are getting angry at the wrong person(s). Amazing.

Sam

OHIO UNIVERSITY-INSITUTE FOR APPLIED & PROFESSIONAL ETHICS;

"The Moral Dimensions of Properly Evaluating and Defining Suicide

By Edward S. Harris, Chowan College

Abstract

For years our understanding of suicide has been commonly defined, as simply, “the taking of ones own life.” Furthermore the word “suicide” in the western tradition has held a negative connotation; most believe that the use of suicide as a solution to a problem is a cowardly act or the action of someone who is not mentally stable. However, over the last century with the groundbreaking research of Emile Durkeim the definition of suicide has proven insufficient. Tom L. Beauchamp has suggested that in order to fully understand suicide properly, we require a morally neutral definition since many different types of action must be noted as suicide and not all actions in which one takes his/her life are morally reprehensible. Along these lines, I propose that we speak of three kinds of “self-killing”: self-sacrifice, accidental self-destruction, and suicide. Each form of self-killing has different implications for ethics. This will assist us in recognizing what situations amount to suicide and assessing their moral implications."

John Harville

So you're making Matt's point for him?
The simple fact is 'suicide' carries the same bad conotation as always (look up the difference between denotation and conotation).
'Homicide' is the taking of another's life - but charges range from circumstances ie: premeditation, unavoidable (vehicular), accidental, manslaughter, self-defense -even stand your ground.... but they all are homicides
A coroner who did not go to the site and did not participate/conduct questioning at the time cannot possibly know enough to make a flat-out ruling based on what a coupla county mounties told him.

Charger85

I just can't understand how this is worth publishing. I've done my best to give the Register and Matt the benefit of the doubt about most things, but this just seems petty. A lawyer calls you names so you publish it? That makes Matt seem just as small as Dean Henry. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong.

Matt Westerhold

You might be right. I'm not sure. I considered the same concerns you raise but opted to publish this because I thought it showed the challenges that a newspaper, a reporter or an editor some times faces with some public officials. It seemed also the email exchange might reflect the same behavior that prompted the Limberios family to seek outside counsel when their questions and concerns were ignored by Sandusky County officials. That was my thinking, anyway. But as I said, you might be right. 

 
White Owl

Why hasn't there been any publicized effort to file grievances with the Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court against Dean Henry?

Your paper could publish the grievance forms and ask readers to fill them out and send them in. Believe me, if that office receives 10, 20, 30 or more grievances against Henry for conduct that brings discredit to the bar, he will have his license suspended.

You already have a finding from a judge that Henry had an impermissible conflict of interest. Please take action instead of continuing to talk about his misconduct.

By the way, do not be fooled by the Supreme Court's confidentiality requirement on grievances. That provision only applies to members of the bar, not the general public and certainly not the press.

Nemesis

"opted to publish this because I thought it showed the challenges that a newspaper, a reporter or an editor some times faces with some public officials."

Matt, do you really want to go with that? It essentially boils down to a play for pity because you have to read mean things.

John Harville

No 'maybe' about it Charger85....

Decades ago an attorney in Indianapolis was asked by a friend why the attorney never responds to comments about him by the Indy Star/News publisher Eugene C. Pulliam.

His response "I make it a policy never to engage in a war of words with a man who buys his ink by the barrel."

By defending the county coroner Wukie (I will not disgrace the fine doctors I know by using the term for Wukie) AT THE SAME he supposedly is conducting the county's investigation into the shooting probably is sufficient to bring him up before the Bar and suspend his license. But then, it begins in his own county bar association....
Actually, Matt is getting off easy. I know one instance several years ago where the FBI was called in because someone mailed a threat to kill the editor's family if the editor didn't shut up....

red white and blue

Deertracker ^^5 ill second that statement ot seems on allmost all storys on here you allways seem to be the voice of reason and (common sence!

John Harville

RW&D "sense". you meant Deertracker "...that statement It seems on aLmost all storIEs on here you aLways seem to be the voice of reason and (common senSe!"

Un hunh... as much as you always are the 'dean' of good grammar...

Sam

When I read the comments attributed to Mr. Henry without the benefit of seeing the total content I have only one comment, LIKE........

John Harville

SAM... what 'total content' do you need?
So... if someone calls you a name, it's okay as long as they provide a reason or you provoked it?

rottnrog

Matt, disregard the naysayers. I notice they are the same ones who won't make positive comments on anything not backed by fox news or rush limbag !!!!

happyfeet64

Matt,I personally have no issues with your paper or reporters or content of stories.I have seen the same people say in and day out all the same whining, bit**ing, complaining, etc. about the same stuff.I have lived in a large variety of cities all across this country, have read just about every type of newspaper published, seen a lot go down the tubes, so I feel an uncontrollable need to compliment you. Others may think this story is done- I don't Makes parents and their need for the truth, as well as your reporting is what got this injustice in people's faces.And for that I commend you. The stupidity of ghee officials associated with this case is incomprehensible. I understand that not everyone will like everything you publish, there are some things I find not too my liking but you can't please everyone. As for I find your willingness to get in there and exercise your First Amendment right to free speech and full disclosure

at we as a public should know commendable.You as an editor are one of the most tenacious, hardheaded and

Ctwhalers

The story is not dead. Matt keep up the good work. These people have no clue of the real story cause they are blind. If matt put the whole emails up you guys might be shocked what else was said. You thinks its funny the sr slams a lawyer. You call Henry a lawyer after the way he has done this case. Givevme a break. All I see is you guys defending sandusky county and dean Henry and dr wukie why when you know they have not done there job. You guys have your own opinions of what you think is right. You dog sr and jake supporters for standing up for what is right and for what they believe in. They are being true americans

Contango

Re: "I've attempted to address each of his concerns, but try as I might, I don't seem to be getting through to him."

@ Mr. Westerhold:

Your argument remains one-sided. And your responses are to found where?

Again: A fine job of character assassination and an excellent definition of the term, bully pulpit.

Smoke

Lawyers accusing the press of lying... now that must be quite the show.

John Harville

Lessee. Dean Henry.. Defending the county while prosecuting the investigation into the Limberios shooting and eventually being removed by a judge who removed other judges DARES to ask if Matt skipped ETHICS class?

Dean Henry... the Defense Attorney for Todd Helms (former Clyde Super now enjoying his fourth of eight years in Marion - unless some attorney gets Judge Ansted to grant early release in exchange for turning over his pension)... and wants to talk about ethics when Helms still owes hundreds of thouosands of dollars to the Sandusky County taxpayers?

Since suicide can be 'accidental' according to Henry's client, then I guess homicide also can be 'accidental'? Oh but that would be 'involuntary manslaughter'. go get 'em Matt!

Contango

Re: "owes hundreds of thouosands (sp) of dollars to the Sandusky County taxpayers?"

Poor spelling demonstrates sloppy thinking. :)

Julie R.

A snake lawyer actually had the audacity to ask Matt Westerhold if he slept through ETHICS class?

That has to be the joke of the century!

Grizzley25

@ct. If matt WOULD put up the whole story. You are absolutely correct. But WOULD is the key word. He hasnt and probably will not because he probably egged henry on to make certain comments. So until I see the full emails. Ill stick to my opinion.

TreadonMe

“You have to stop making things up, Matt.”

“Did you sleep through Ethics class in Journalism?”

“You conjured it from thin air."

“You're an amateur, Matt.”

“My characterization of you as a poor editor and writer who doesn’t really give a damn about the truth is right on target.”

“You're just making things up.”

I would say those are all spot on Matt. What are you looking for sympathy?

milemarkerzero

I think Henry hits the nail right on the head. I for one would also like to see the PDF version, and get all of the story. So what if it takes up alot of space. The SR did not mind doing it for the CCW holders or that goofy Nuesse fiasco.

red white and blue

John harville^^^ sometimes I think you type just to see your name appear on here.(!) Read between the lines as far as my Spelling you understood what I said and once again commenting on something that didn't concern you.But then again it hasn't ever stopped you before from typing b.s.

red white and blue

Oh and john there's a chair in that english class next to mine.Looks like you'll be joining me! Lol

Texx Reloader

He is obviously a lackey of morons, so what degree of intelligence can one expect. Just because he is a lawyer, does not mean he is intelligent. Patience, and ability to go to college al long time will get almost anyone past the bar. I have met some dumber than a box of hair. It is good for you to point this out though Matt. Understood and appreciated.

outin5

I consider Emil to be a liar in certain stories considering HE DID lie to get a story once and added a few things for flavor....btw that put someone close to me in harms way due to his deceit...however...Sandusky county needs to get it together and quit with covering for each other...they are only making it worse

outin5

I do agree however that the paper is written very well but I do question the validity of some stories...only because of my prior experiences. I will credit the paper for keeping Jake in the paper and getting justice and following up with it afterward.