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Case is Still Pending ...

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Friday, June 3, 2005, 08:36 AM
Winds Of Change?
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Baumgartner pleads not guilty

SANDUSKY - Former Oak Harbor attorney Elsebeth Baumgartner pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanor charges and a traffic citation in Sandusky Municipal Court Thursday, while a hearing on a felony charge will take place June 9, stemming from a May 20 chase.

At the Thursday morning hearing, Baumgartner, who appeared without her attorney, John Vogel, argued the charges brought against her by Bay View police should be dismissed.

Baumgartner is charged with failure to comply with an officer, a third-degree felony; disobeying an officer, a first-degree misdemeanor; and resisting arrest, a second-degree misdemeanor. She also was cited for failure to stop at a stop sign.

Bay View police tried to serve an Ottawa County warrant for an alleged probation violation on Baumgartner the night of May 20, after they had received a tip that she was eating at a restaurant in Bay View, according to the Ottawa County Sheriff's office.

Baumgartner drove away from officers in an acquaintance's vehicle and led police agencies on a two-county chase from Ohio 2 onto Ohio 4, according to the Sheriff's office. She was eventually stopped on Ohio 4 north of U.S. 20, after stop sticks were deployed by troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol's Norwalk post.

She was taken to the Bay View police station and then transferred to the Ottawa County Detention Facility, where she was held without bond until a hearing Wednesday.

Baumgartner told Judge Erich J. O'Brien on Thursday that she wasn't served with Bay View police's charges until Wednesday, when she was transferred to Erie County Jail and then released on bond.

She also said she should have been entitled to a hearing before being transferred from Huron County to non-adjoining Ottawa County. At the hearing, she said, she could have proven that the county's warrant was invalid because it was not supported by an affidavit or other evidence.

Baumgartner admitted Wednesday in Ottawa County Municipal Court that she had not told her probation officer of her current address and left Ohio without permission.

We should note here that no charges were included in affidavit form until after she was arrested. (Charging her with an alleged violation after the fact. Authorities arrested her on a bench warrant unsupported by oath or affirmation – and then compiled a list of alleged violations after she was incarcerated on no bond for 5 days.)

She was returned to her probation, which had stemmed from a misdemeanor falsification charge.

Baumgartner has served over 235 days in maximum felony confinement in this entire mess – and it all resulted from criticism of public officials – namely Erie County Prosecutor Kevin Baxter and his unholy activities with a private business called “Island Express Ltd.”

Baumgartner said Thursday she is appealing all of the orders resulting from that hearing, and also asked O'Brien to rule on whether the acquaintance's vehicle can be released from impoundment. O'Brien said he would rule on the motion by noon today.

The vehicle belongs to Sandusky resident Bryan DuBois who was hired by the Baumgartner’s to write about Elsebeth’s legal problems and harassment. You can see the entire chronology of her story here.

After the hearing, Baumgartner said she intends to "mount a vigorous defense" to her charges, and in doing so will prove that public officials in a number of counties colluded to harass her.

"This has been a horrific abuse of office, and a waste of taxpayer dollars, by a number of public officials," she said.

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