Smackdown on women in Sandusky

Okay, let’s start with a basic fact:  I’m male.

Therefore, when it comes to sexism, more specifically, misogyny, I am not always able to perceive subtleties.  For example, when Jill Miller Zimon, of Writes Like She Talks, complained how a photograph of Hillary Rodham Clinton was used on a magazine cover, I just didn’t get it.  I think Scott Piepho correctly assessed the situation at Pho’s Norka Pages.  If I was perplexed about what JMZ was driving at, when referring to Hillary Rodham Clinton, I was further perplexed at what was in-bounds and what was in foul territory after JMZ ridiculed Sarah Palin mercilessly in the run-up to the November elections.

But here’s one more basic fact to consider:  I was born in Sandusky, Ohio.

In Sandusky, Ohio, one doesn’t have to sift through nuance and subltety to find instances of sexism.  No.  In Sandusky, the Good Old Boys’ tastes in misogyny trend more toward sexism that’s blatant and overt.  Perhaps that’s why I couldn’t discern the nuances that JMZ expounded upon, because I was raised in an environment of stark contrasts.

When I make mention of a smackdown on women in Sandusky in the title of this blog entry, I’m not talking about a one-time event.  The “S” in “Smackdown” in the title is capitalized only because it is the first word in the title, not because it’s a proper noun signifying a singular event.  No . . . smackdown of women by the Good Old Boys happens in Sandusky every day of every year.  It is commonplace.  So, it is “smackdown” with a lower-case “s” that I’m writing about here.  Though I hope someday to illustrate the point with my own Sandusky workplace observations, this blog entry will be lengthy enough just to tell the tale of the woman who was once Sandusky’s police chief, Kim Nuesse.

Marc Dann and his ilk might be from Youngstown, but I think he’d feel just as safe and protected if he lived in Sandusky.

The local newspaper, the Sandusky Register, has devoted tons (I think literally) of ink to the story of Kim Nuesse, former police chief of Sandusky.  The truth has been slow in coming, so I’ve been reluctant to comment about it up to this point in time, but I believe it is fundamentally about misogyny, and I believe that men in elected office, from recently elected State Rep Dennis Murray (formerly on the Sandusky City Commission) to County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter, to those who serve on the Sandusky City Commission, and then on to unelected but powerful men, like some of the men in blue in the FOP,  and especially some men in city administration, like City Manager Matt Kline, are cut from the same cloth as Marc Dann and associates.

By the way, if you think Sandusky is a Republican backwater, think again.  It may be a backwater, but Democrats predominate in Sandusky, much like in the Marc Dann case.  Erie County Common Pleas Judge Roger Binette is a Republican, but nearly all of the other principals in the Nuesse dissmissal narrative are Democrats.  ODP Chair Chris Redfern sought sanctions against Marc Dann.  Chris Redfern, as Dennis Murray’s predecessor as state rep, knows many of the principals involved in the current sexist witchhunt, so perhaps he’d do well to put his foot down once more.

One year ago, Sandusky City Manager Matt Kline announced that Police Chief Kim Nuesse was being placed on paid leave and that a third-party investigation would be forthcoming.  Details weren’t spelled out at the timeEven the courts have not been quite so ready to furnish facts.

One year later, details are still sparse, and subject to debate.  The murky tale that emerges is that the Sandusky City Commission was second-guessing Kim Nuesse’s decisions on upgrading software for dispatch operations.  Squabbles about a Cedar Point ticket and a parking ticket don’t resonate at all as the motivations behind the dismissal.  Despite the fact that Nuesse was fired a few months later, there’s no public record of any misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance to justify her dismissal.

However, also a year ago, Nuesse and her lawyer, K. Ronald Bailey, outlined sexual harassment complaints against City Manager Matt Kline.  Though hearings were held subsequent to Nuesse’s dismissal, the judge ruled that the subject of the sexual harassment complaints could not be introduced during the dismissal hearings, because they were irrelevant to the dismissal hearings.  I think the judge was incorrect.  I don’t think the dismissal hearings make much sense without that piece of the puzzle.

Another piece of the puzzle is whose reputations would be tarnished if Nuesse prevails.

A piece of that puzzle rests with the conduct of Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter.  Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray rebuffed attempts to make past records of Baxter transparent to the public.  Considering that Cordray now sits in Marc Dann’s old office,  shouldn’t he rethink his decision in the interest of transparency and let the chips fall where they may?

Which pieces of the puzzle are at the heart of the matter?  My own instincts tell me this is the most relevant stuff:

“Matt Kline needs Kim Nuesse gone to cover up his own misconduct,” Bailey added.

Kline said he has done everything properly.

“We’ve done everything professionally and above board,” Kline said.

Bailey said he found it interesting that a local psychologist, Dr. Wayne Morse, told investigators certain city police officers wouldn’t take orders from a woman.

According to the report, Morse told investigators that one of his clients, who was in law enforcement, told the Morse that he had heard from officers in the Sandusky police department that when Nuesse was first hired they wouldn’t take orders from a woman. Morse would not identify the individual because he was a client.

In my opinion, skeletons in politician’s closets, sexual harassment by Kline, and sexist attitudes by some of those within Sandusky’s police force are really what this is all about.

And the Good Old Boys don’t care what the cost to the city is for drumming Nuesse out on trumped up charges, which really signals how desperate the Good Old Boys are to keep their reputations intact.  This is not about what was paid or not paid for dispatch software upgrades, because a cost-benefit analysis wouldn’t support such an expensive witchhunt.  The Good Old Boys can’t affix a price tag to keeping reputations from being tattered.  Reputations are priceless.  If a reputation must be ruined, then let it be a woman’s.

It wouldn’t be the first time in Erie County history that politicians had ulterior motives and dismissed a woman from her job without cause and without concern for what the wrongful dismissal hearings would cost.

Politically speaking, I don’t often agree with local columnist Rufus G. W. Sanders, but I wholeheartedly agree with every sentiment expressed in this recent column.  It’s well past time for City Manager Matt Kline to depart, and he probably ought to have some company headed out the door with him, like city Law Director Don Icsman, and County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter.

Sadly, this is just the tip of the iceberg for Sandusky’s sexist smackdowns.  I’ve been witness to much more.

13 Responses to “Smackdown on women in Sandusky”

  1. LisaRenee Says:

    Daniel, you did a very thorough job on this post. I’d heard of some of the problems but only a few small details and I hope that more people pay attention to what’s happening.

    • buckeyerino Says:

      Thanks, Lisa Renee. Some of the people I’ve chatted with are acting rather nonchalant, as if this is all a figment of the imagination of Kim Nuesse or the Sandusky Register, but the $$$$$ spent fighting against Nuesse with no transparency to show for it seems to underscore for me that these are no trivial matters. It seems there’s much more at stake than some people are letting on, otherwise, the city of Sandusky wouldn’t go to such expense to fight, or at least the city wouldn’t see the harm in offering full disclosures. For now, too much info remains under wraps, and no expense is being spared.

  2. Firelands411 Says:

    Rino, check out this video post for some more of Matt Kline’s duplicity:

    http://411firelands.blogspot.com/2009/03/unraveling-lies.html

  3. Where is Sandusky’s City Manager? « Buckeye RINO Says:

    [...] Smackdown on women in Sandusky [...]

    • tenay Says:

      This town is dedicated to the non-productivity of it’s citizens. Persons of political status are more inclided to stay the same, rather than promote change. Because change could only mean a change in the way politicans,POLICE,JUDGES, PROSECUTERS do business here. Which is corrupt, the only problem is sandusky does not gain national attention( FOR ANYTHING UNJUST
      AND WHEN SOMEONE LIKE NUESSE GAINS ATTENTION IT GOES UNOTICES (WHY) bECAUSE IT’S COMMON aND ALWAYS HAS BEEN HERE. Sandusky’s citizens are so beat up by this town that they feel the only change that will make a difference in their lives( is to move) a place where there is oppurtunity, hope and promise. It’s sad not to be proud of a place one has been born and raised in. sandusky is a trap. I ADVISE ANYONE WHO IS NOT RICH TO GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN .DON’T VIST LONGER THAN FIVE DAYS.

      • buckeyerino Says:

        You are right. I think the entire stretch of rust belt along Lake Erie’s shore suffers from the kinds of politicians, police, and prosecutors you describe. Besides the social woes of such an environment, economic woes are also made worse.

  4. Fair to who? « Buckeye RINO Says:

    [...] When is the Sandusky City Commission finally going to get rid of that hypocritical and sexist city manager, Matt Kline?  The Sandusky City Commission has been trying to cut costs while hoping [...]

  5. State rep Dennis Murray opposes Issue 3, but introduces his own casino bill « Buckeye RINO Says:

    [...] to his election to the state rep job, Dennis Murray was also among the good old boys who put the smackdown on Kim Nuesse, Sandusky’s police [...]

  6. Richard Koonce for Sandusky school board « Buckeye RINO Says:

    [...] no doubt that he’s on very good terms with Dennis Murray, who is among the ringleaders of those who sought to oust Kim Nuesse as police chief.  He clearly relishes his role in cutting back-room deals for prospective businesses who want to [...]

  7. 2009 Buckeye RINO endorsement recap megapost « Buckeye RINO Says:

    [...] Buckeye RINO en… on Bonds and my opposition to Iss…Richard Koonce for S… on Smackdown on women in San…Richard Koonce for S… on Supplemental learning opportun…Richard Koonce for S… [...]

  8. 2009 election results: 1 step forward & 2 steps backward « Buckeye RINO Says:

    [...] and dump Patterson.  Smart move.  Also, two Sandusky city commission incumbents who are among the good old boys, Stahl and Warner, came in dead last, while challengers Nuesse and Hamilton picked up two of the [...]

  9. Smackdown on women at Ford « Buckeye RINO Says:

    [...] you’ve been a reader of my blog for some time, you may have read my post titled, “Smackdown on women in Sandusky.”  To be sure, I doubt this woman’s family hails from Sandusky, so I can’t be [...]

  10. Buckeye RINO 2010 general election endorsements « Buckeye RINO Says:

    [...] his role on the Sandusky City Commission in the dismissal of a Sandusky police chief. (Read “Smackdown on Women in Sandusky.”  It has quietly become the #1 most widely read blog post here at Buckeye RINO.)  By the [...]


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