DeWine and Wukie: Best buds keep secrets

Matt Westerhold
May 22, 2014

 

It's likely Sandusky County Coroner John Wukie knows it.

It's apparent Ohio Attorny General Mike DeWine does.

DeWine's Bureau of Criminal Investigation special agent Charlie Snyder has it.

And so does the Mr. Dual Roles himself, defense attorney and extra special criminal prosecutor Dean Henry.

But it's still a big secret, and DeWine intends to keep it that way.

DeWine's office cited this exemption as the reason for keeping Sandusky County coroner John Wukie's secret: Disclosing his email address “would endanger the life or physical safety of law enforcement personnel, a crime victim, a witness, or a confidential information source.”

DeWine is being so thoughtful. If the public knew Wukie's public email address bad guys might go there and hurt him. Bad guys might go to his email address and hurt him.

The exemption does allow private home addresses of law enforcement personnel to be kept confidential. It is a legitimate exemption in the Ohio Revised Code. But really? The Ohio Attorney General's office is abusing the exemption by suggesting a public email address is the same as an address of a specific, physical location.

DeWine is delegitimizing the exemption, and he delegitimizes the office of attorney general, making excuse after excuse in what seems like a never-ending quest to ignore potential wrongdoing by police and prosecutors and endorse incompetence.

Wukie hasn't returned a phone call from the Register in years and he keeps his email address under wraps. He's the ultimate dodger, ducker, bobber and weaver when it comes to keeping the public informed of the public's business.

Wukie's private lawyer, super-duper defense attorney/criminal prosecutor “Dual Dean” Henry, and DeWine, both look to be running a hard race to be "No. 1: Most Disappointing Public Official of the Year."

But that's just my opinion; it's really not up to me.

Vote your preference for the worst service rendered by a public servant since Jan. 1, 2014. See the ballot here to copy and paste your vote, or nominate your own servant, in the comments section below the ballot.

 

Comments

Laughingatwttb

If you got his email it wouldn't take you long to find and publish his home address, just as you did years ago with the names and addresses of private citizens who had a CCW.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks Laughing, but having unwarranted fears about something does not circumenvent state law or the intent of the legislation. It would seem rules are meant to be followed, not ignored as you suggest, or conveniently interpreted. Cast your vote here

Florence Nightingale

I'm honestly curious - is it really illegal for a county coroner's email address to not be made public? Is it the same for all elected officials, or for government employees?

Einfach genug III

Matt, Do you follow all laws, codes ordinances to the letter? I wonder if anyone else is of the opinion that the reason calls or direct questions aren't returned or answered is the the SR is viewed as being biased, adversarial or presents responses out of context?

SanduskyGuardian

Matt, step back and re-evaluate your tone and the content of this piece. You have accomplished too much in the past couple years by fair, professional, and dignified journalism. Don't ruin your status in the community with petty personal attacks. Please. We actually care about you and respect you for what you are doing, being the only voice opposing the corruption and nonsense with the cops. The cops and city did nothing about DJs ever, but you publicized some info and shut the place down instantly. Please Matt keep it classy.

Matt Westerhold

Thanks SanduskyGuardian. I appreciate your comments. I didn't view this as a personal attack on anyone and it's not meant to be that. It didn't seem petty to me, either, that Wukie continues to keep his email address secret and DeWine's office agrees it should be that way. That struck me as ridiculous given Wukie's refusal to answer phone calls or inquiries concerning important public matters that are under the juristiction of his public office. I will consider your advice, however, and appreciate the concern.

SanduskyGuardian

Actually I posted under the wrong thread, It was the nominate the worst public servant thread that I found petty. It still amazes me, as the industry is still trying to sort out the place of a small town paper in the day of electronic 24 hour news, all of a sudden in the drudgery of local golf reports, recipes and the Perkin's levy you get these stories going about the mass corruption in Sandusky County, I envy you and your staff, imagining how thrilling it must be to do this type of work, to suddenly step back 100 years into an era where newspapers had a crusade, a cause, a purpose. This is a one in a lifetime shot, please don't squander it, there is too much that can come from sorting out who all is involved in the mass corruption there in Fremont. This can really make people's lives better by getting them the government they deserve. Now, say if you did need a bit of rancor, hostility and pettiness...give it to the News Messenger for just standing there and doing nothing. This massive massive mess brewing and they simply do not report on it. That is just a huge ethical lapse and those people do not deserve to call them selves newspapermen.

Lil DAB

★HEAR ★HEAR!!!
RE: "give it to the News Messenger for just standing there and doing nothing. This massive massive mess brewing and they simply do not report on it. That is just a huge ethical lapse and those people do not deserve to call them selves newspapermen."

mamaC

Great story Matt!! Made me spit my coffee out while laughing reading this!

Whiskey in a Teacup

Stand for something or fall for anything .. This is more this an email address, it is another example of officials protecting the priv ledges of other officials rather than the rights of the constituents that put them in office. I vote for the person I believe will protect my welfare and work on my behalf to ensure my rights will be protected. Where is their responsibility and accountability?

mamaC

Best Duds I say they are!!

Lil DAB

Matt, your story "inspired" someone...
https://www.facebook.com/photo.p...

Matt Westerhold

Thanks for the link Blue.Streaker. That document was provided as the result of numerous written inquiries from the Register, and likely as a direct result of the Register's coverage of the lack of a response previously from the judge and court officials.

The article you posted seems to lack any useful information and does not address the other issues raised about the other potential violations. We'll work to get that information for you and provide some better context. The filing referred to in this link, on the face of it, appears to simply mimic what was stated in the AG's motion. Do you think the court should address the other issues, or would it be better for the judge to simply ignore the other potential violations regarding this tainted grand jury? 

Dr.Gonzo

Honestly who cares if his email is kept private? Anyone that has a need for it has it I'm sure. Is it really that big of a deal if he wants to keep his email private? I'm sure if you had a legitimate need to email him you could find a way. And I'm not saying this to defend him, because honestly I don't know what is going through his head when it comes to that 19year olds case. I'm no coroner, but it seems at the very least you would go to the scene before making a ruling. Also maybe I am wrong, but it's been my experience that only the coroner was allowed to release a body from a scene. Anyway, back to topic. Why don't we focus on the truly important things wrong with this county?