[LFC Comments: Thanks to a Lorain County patriot for this article. Looks like a prosecutor is about to face justice. When a public official abuses their power while in office, it undermines our system of justice.]
Excerpts from the article:
State moves on Tim Braun
By Matt Westerhold Aug 27, 2020 4:30 PM
FREMONT — The Ohio Disciplinary Counsel filed a complaint, moving one step closer to suspending or disbarring ex-Sandusky County Prosecutor Tim Braun, who was driven from office in late 2019 after taking a plea deal on felony criminal charges.
“Braun should be found in violation of the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct and be sanctioned accordingly,” disciplinary counsel Joseph Caligiuri wrote in the complaint filed Wednesday with the Ohio Supreme Court’s Office of Professional Conduct.
Caligiuri determined that Braun committed numerous acts of unprofessional and criminal behavior related to sexually molesting and/or harassing female employees of the prosecutor’s office.
“This is the start of the public process to suspend or disbar Tim Braun,” said Elsebeth Baumgartner, a former attorney who filed a different complaint with the disciplinary counsel alleging former county Judge John Dewey and Katie Nelson, an assistant Henry County prosecutor who served as special prosecutor in Braun’s criminal trial, both committed acts of misconduct during the trial proceedings.
Braun sexually harassed up to five or more women who worked at the prosecutor’s office, he molested at least two of them with unwanted sexual touching and appeared to manufacture a criminal case against two of them in an effort to intimidate the women. The five counts in the disciplinary complaint found that Braun “committed illegal acts” and engaged in other behavior that “adversely reflected on his fitness to practice law.”
He also committed acts of “dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation,” the complaint states.
One count in Caligiuri’s complaint details how Braun made threats about how he sent women to the Ohio Reformatory, a revelation that Baumgartner claims is a reference to Braun’s unlawful prosecution of her nearly two decades ago. Baumgartner has built an impressive case that she was railroaded to prison by malicious prosecutions Braun handled.
Former state Rep. Steve Kraus also contends he was falsely prosecuted by Braun in 2015, and he too has built a substantial file of information to support that contention.
In the criminal case against Braun, investigators found he appeared to manufacture a crime, alleging files were stolen from his office, in an effort to intimidate the women and stop them from exposing his wrongdoing.
“(Braun) stated he would have no problem sending whoever took the files to ‘Marysville,’ meaning the Ohio Reformatory for Women located in Marysville, Ohio, implying that the individual who had stolen the files was a woman,” the disciplinary counsel’s complaint states. “(Braun) also referenced taking a ‘dull knife’ to the throat of the person who had taken the files.”
“Someone’s going to go down for this . . . someone’s going to Marysville,” Braun said, according to Caligiuri’s complaint.
Judge Dewey, whose daughter worked for Braun and defended Braun when she was questioned during the investigation of him, granted Braun’s request for search warrants for his fake investigation of the missing files. That allowed Braun to get the personal phone records of his victims and text messages they exchanged.
After a real investigation was started, the missing files were discovered in a file cabinet in Braun’s office.
Judge Dewey also appointed Nelson special prosecutor and appointed Braun’s close friend and colleague, former court administrator Brock Kimmet, to be a special deputy court clerk, ordering Kimmet to keep all records in Braun’s case secret from the public.
There’s nothing in state law that authorizes a judge to appoint a secret court clerk and Baumgartner contends Dewey and Nelson collaborated to fix Braun’s criminal case so he was not be subjected to any harsh punishment. Nelson let Braun plead out to a minor misdemeanor and he was sentenced to probation, but suspended from office with pay. He stood to collect $77,000 as a result of the plea deal, and no testimony or evidence was admitted at trial.
Dewey and Kimmet never responded to questions from the Register or offered any explanation for why the ignored their personal conflicts of interest overseeing Braun’s criminal trial since both men maintained close personal relationships with him. Dewey and Kimmet both resigned from their positions earlier this year.