If just one thing can be said about Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, it might be he never dodges the tough questions or the tough assignments.
DeWine showed that last week when his office finished its investigation and grand jury hearings into the March 2012 killing of Jacob Limberios. DeWine said in June, when his office was assigned to the investigation, he’d make sure it was a thorough probe and would leave no stone unturned.
It appears he kept that promise based on the hour-long presentation DeWine and his team of investigators made to the community at the Sandusky County Courthouse on Wednesday, after the grand jury finished its work.
State investigators determined Jacob Limberios died from a self-inflicted, accidental gunshot wound, and DeWine carefully presented the information that led to that conclusion. The presentation was professional, plausible and, most importantly, credible.
The believability of DeWine’s investigation, and its conclusions, highlights the lack of credibility created by Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer, deputies and detectives, county judges and the county coroner, John Wukie, during the 15 months when the investigation was still being handled locally.
DeWine gave local officials a pass on what he called the “mistakes” they made during the initial investigation, from not performing an autopsy to the destruction of evidence and mishandling witnesses. The AG said, however, that local officials should learn from those mistakes.
But that’s not likely to happen given Wukie already declared he has no intention to change Jacob’s death certificate to remove the word suicide from it. It might have been accidental, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a suicide, said Wukie, using a logic that makes no sense.
Watch an interview with DeWine and Matt Westerhold in the player below
The family has accepted DeWine’s findings; they’ll have to continue their fight in court to get Wukie to accept them. In the end, taxpayers will have to pony up the funds spent to get the county to do the right thing.
It would have been easier if Wukie and Overmyer had done the right thing right from the start. It would be easier, if they did that now and took the corrective actions DeWine suggested were needed.