October 8, 2021
Re: Appointment of Bucyrus City Interim Law Director
The Crawford County Republican Central Committee met last evening to interview two candidates for the Bucyrus Law Director’s position. Attorneys Bailey Higgins and Brian Gernert applied for the open position. The City was fortunate to have two good candidates from which to choose to fill the large shoes of Rob Ratliff who recently took a new job with the Immigration Service. Both candidates had solid resumes and experience in the legal system. After extensive interviews by the Executive committee and with the Bucyrus representatives, the final vote to choose a candidate ended in a tie. Bylaws of the Republican Central Committee allow the mayor of the City to appoint an “Interim” director for 45 days.
I am appointing Brian Gernert as the Interim Law Director for the City of Bucyrus. This was a difficult decision that I did not take lightly. Attorney Higgins was a well-qualified candidate with an impressive resume and I believe that Ms. Higgins has a bright future in the legal field. Mr. Gernert, however, has more extensive experience, having been an attorney for nearly ten years. Brian also has demonstrated impressive leadership in local organizations such as the Bucyrus Area Chamber of Commerce and the MRDD Board. He also has deep roots in the community. In the end, these were the qualities that tipped the scale in Brian’s direction.
During the interviews Brian expressed his commitment to grow in his personal and professional development and to work hard to be an effective Law Director and leader for the Bucyrus community. We look forward to working with Brian during his interim appointment.
Mayor Jeff Reser
Kevin Keith Lawsuit dismissed by United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
Bucyrus, Ohio, October 7, 2018: On September 28, 2017, the Hon. Solomon Oliver, Jr., United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of Ohio, issued an order dismissing all claims against the City of Bucyrus and its officers and agents in Keith v. Yezzo, et al, Case No. 1:18-cv-00047.
Keith, following years of post-conviction litigation attacking his conviction, resorted to filing a civil rights complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the City of Bucyrus and various law enforcement officers at the State and local levels had violated Keith’s civil rights in the investigation, prosecution and conviction of Keith for murder in May 1994. Judge Oliver, in a 14 page opinion, thoroughly reviewed Keith’s civil rights claims and found that Keith had “failed to state a claim for which relief could be granted.” The Court reasoned that a civil rights action under § 1983 was not the appropriate procedural vehicle to raise challenges to an underlying conviction. The Court went on to note that Keith’s alleged claims of constitutional violations by the City and State occurring after his conviction were contrary to the “legal and factual assertions made in Keith’s complaints” and that the civil rights claims were merely a “disguise for what is, at essence” a failure to disclose evidence claim which is prohibited under § 1983. If he chose to do so, Keith may appeal this ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, Ohio.
While the City of Bucyrus agrees wholeheartedly with Judge Oliver’s holdings and welcomes this result, it should be noted that more than two decades after these murders, the families of Kevin Keith’s victims have once again been forced to relive the pain and terror caused by Keith’s actions. Our sympathies go to those families
Contact: Rob Ratliff
City of Bucyrus
Phone 419.562-6767 x237