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Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 @ 9:16 AM
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan’s supporters are waging an enthusiastic campaign to defend the Urbana Republican against claims he knew about potential sexual misconduct at Ohio State University during his time as assistant wrestling coach and did nothing about it, while former Ohio State administrators said Tuesday they weren’t aware of the doctor in question nor allegations of abuse.
Fifteen former Ohio State University wrestlers issued a joint statement Tuesday defending Jordan against accusations by seven former Ohio State wrestlers that Jordan was aware of sexual impropriety by former team doctor Richard Strauss and did nothing about it. That statement came one day after eight former coaches — including two who’d previously defended Jordan — issued a statement coming to Jordan’s defense.
As wrestlers came to Jordan’s defense, a pair of former Ohio State administrators also said they weren’t aware of allegations of sexual misconduct by Strauss.
Former Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee told The Dispatch in a statement Tuesday that he had no recollection of Strauss or allegations against him, and indicated he has been in communication with investigators handling the Strauss probe.
Gee’s first stint as Ohio State president, from 1990 to 1997, fell during Strauss’ tenure as a physician at the university.
“As has been conveyed to the investigators at Ohio State, I have no recollection of Dr. Strauss or any reports regarding him,” said Gee, now president at West Virginia University. “I have always taken any allegations brought to my attention very seriously, and will continue to do so.”
Gee also said he was familiar with Jordan because Jordan represented the OSU Lima regional campus during Gee’s second term, but did not comment on his time as an assistant coach or on recent allegations from former wrestlers that the congressman knew about abuse by Strauss.
“I don’t really remember even hearing his name,” said Linda Tom, former Vice President of Human Resources at Ohio State from 1992-1997. “I never heard anything about those issues in the athletic department.”
If anyone did complain about Strauss’ conduct then, it should have come through human resources, said Tom, who added that she has not been in touch with investigators.
“I wish I was aware (then), because we certainly would have dealt with that very directly,” Tom said.
Some defenders say that the attacks against Jordan are politically motivated and timed to thwart a potential run for Speaker of the House. Others have questioned the motivations of the accusers, saying the most vocal accuser has a beef with Ohio State over a merchandising agreement. That accuser, Michael DiSabato, said such attacks are an example of blaming the victim.
Ohio State launched an investigation into accusations against Strauss in April, and so far, investigators for the university have interviewed more than 150 witnesses from 14 sports. On July 3, NBC News reported that three wrestlers said Jordan knew of the alleged abuse by Strauss and did nothing about it.
Jordan’s defenders Tuesday included former wrestlers Cullen Waugh, Ferdinand J. Miller, Jim Picolo, Andy Stickley — Jordan’s brother–in–law — as well as Matt Mondalek. They and others issued different quotes in support of Jordan, but the gist was the same: Jordan, they said, was a man of character and integrity.
“I feel that Jim is a very honest and ethical person and always acted in the best interest of our teammates,” wrote Waugh. “I feel that trying to make this political in any way devalues even more the people who were personally affected by this.”
Miller accused Jordan’s accusers of “looking for a quick infusion of money.”
And Picolo and Stickley denied any knowledge of inappropriate behavior by Strauss. Mondalek, however, said Strauss “conducted his transgressions behind closed doors.” He said he never told anyone except his father and did not specify what the transgressions were.
“I absolutely believe that Jim Jordan had zero idea about Dr Strauss’s behavior,” he said.
Separately, Republican members of the House Freedom Caucus — the conservative organization Jordan helped to found — as well as House Majority Whip Steve Scalise also issued statements of support for Jordan.
Rep. Jim Renacci, who is running for Senate against Sen. Sherrod Brown, did not outright defend Jordan in a press conference this morning but said, “what we really need to do is let the facts come out and see where we end up.” Renacci, a Wadsworth Republican, said he knows and likes Jordan.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said officials from Ohio State contacted him Friday to ensure him that they were doing a “comprehensive and thorough” investigation into Strauss.
“I think the allegations have been categorically denied by Congressman Jordan,” he said, adding that Jordan “is also cooperating fully with the investigation, so that’s all I know about it at this point.”
Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 3:37 AM
TODAY: A beautiful morning with cooler temperatures around 60 degrees and some northern spots in the 50s. Dew points stay in the 50s today, meaning a comfortable air mass is in place. Overall, sunshine and a few clouds for the day with highs reaching in the low 80s, which is close to normal.
THURSDAY: Another beautiful morning with it being quiet and cool. Sunny skies for the afternoon as temperatures climb to the middle 80s. Clouds increase at night.
FRIDAY: Warm and muggy conditions return with highs in the low 80s. Scattered showers and storms develop and we could see stronger winds and heavy rain towards evening.
SATURDAY: Muggy with more active weather for the day. It’ll be partly to mostly cloudy as highs peak in the low 80s. Some afternoon showers and storms redevelop, but activity will taper off at night.
SUNDAY: Some dry time early with partly to mostly cloudy skies. Scattered showers and storms redevelop again in the late afternoon/evening. High reach near 80 degrees.
Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 3:55 PM
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 3:55 PM
WEYMOUTH, Mass. — A man who was sought for driving erratically stood over a Massachusetts police officer and shot him 10 times in the head and chest, according to witness statements recorded in court documents.
Emanuel Lopes is accused of shooting and killing two people Sunday after he was allegedly observed driving a BMW erratically and crashing into another car.
Witnesses told police Lopes was speeding and swerving between lanes before he apparently crashed into a stationary vehicle. A witness in that vehicle told police Lopes got out of the car, mumbled “I’m sorry,” and ran off on foot.
According to police, Officer Michael Chesna responded to reports of Lopes’ driving. Court documents indicate Chesna found Lopes as he was throwing a rock through a window.
When Chesna approached Lopes, court documents say Lopes picked up a large rock and charged at the officer. Police say when Lopes hit Chesna with the rock, Chesna fell to the ground and dropped his gun.
According to court documents, Lopes picked up the gun and shot Chesna 10 times as he stood over him. Witnesses told police Lopes stood over Chesna and shot him five times in the head and five times in the chest.
Police say Lopes then moved through the neighborhood, pausing in one backyard to shoot through a large picture window on the back of home. According to police, one of those shots hit a 77-year-old woman named Vera Adams in the chest, killing her.
Lopes was eventually arrested and police say there were no bullets left in the gun.
According to the Norfolk County District Attorney's Office, Lopes was slated to be arraigned Monday afternoon from his hospital bed, but was not medically able to be arraigned.
Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 3:33 AM
WEYMOUTH, Mass. — A nonprofit organization has announced a major donation to help pay off the mortgage on a slain Massachusetts police officer's family home.
Weymouth police Sgt. Michael Chesna, 42, was shot and killed Sunday in the line of duty.
Any money raised exceeding the mortgage will go directly to Chesna's wife and two children.
The foundation, established in memory of a fallen 9/11 firefighter, supports military and first responders who are killed in the line of duty. In addition to his service with the Weymouth Police Department, Chesna was also a military veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
MUST READ: Absolutely amazing story -- @Tunnel2Towers is providing $100,000 to help pay off the mortgage of fallen @WeymouthPD Sgt. Michael Chesna's family home https://t.co/t72RzRPg86 #Boston25 pic.twitter.com/LMmIOKVk84— Mike Saccone (@mikesacconetv) July 17, 2018
Frank Siller, chairman and CEO of the foundation, will join Weymouth police Chief Richard Grimes at the Weymouth Police Department at 3 p.m. Wednesday to make the official announcement.
Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 3:19 AM
Updated: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 @ 2:36 AM
Overnight: A comfortable night in the forecast with clear skies and temperatures dropping to around 60 degrees by morning.
Wednesday: Lots of sunshine is expected with the humidity remaining low. It will be pleasantly warm with highs in the lower 80s.
Thursday: A warmer day is expected with some high clouds around mixed with sunshine. Highs will rebound into the middle 80s.
Friday: Clouds will be on the increase through the day with a chance for showers and storms developing by late afternoon. Highs will be in the middle 80s with humidity on the rise.
Saturday: Numerous showers and storms are expected, especially during the afternoon and early evening. One or two stronger storms will be possible. Highs will be in the lower 80s.