Apr 3, 2014 Steve Kraus enters a dilapidated, neglected home in Danbury Township, Ottawa County, under the invitation of another realtor for professional appraisal purposes.
Steve Kraus reports that he attended a continuing education seminar where he talked with Jenine Porter. She said that she had a client who needed cash and had some antiques, asking that Steve do an informal appraisal.
See pictures of the house.
Apr 7, 2014 Helen Stein, the “owner”, files a Police Incident Report with Danbury Township Police, alleging burglary.
The report is later updated to reflect the fifteen items that were allegedly removed from the property.
Source: Danbury Township Police Department Incident Report #14-0644
Apr 14, 2014 The Erie County Republican Party Chair learns about the incident.
It is reported that C.J. Kamm, Chairman of the Erie County Republican Party, learns about the incident from Jenine Porter.
Source: Confidential Source.
- Why would this issue get politicized so quickly?
- If justice was the real purpose and there was really a theft, instead of spending time to spread rumors, why not spend time to recover any “stolen” items and rectify the situation?
- If someone was true to loyalty, why would they be spreading potentially damaging information unless they had an agenda outside the realm of common decency?
- If I was acting in a professional capacity and there was a theft which occurred based on an introduction which I had made, I would do everything that I could to rectify the situation as soon as possible. I would not want others to talk about it as it would cloud my reputation due to a lack of judgment. Why was time spent broadcasting this instead of working to rectify it?
Apr 30, 2014 First witness is interviewed, Tabitha.
May 2, 2014 Second witness is interviewed, Jenine Porter.
May 6, 2014 Primary Election
May 16, 2014 C.J. Kamm tells Steve Kraus about Police Incident Report.
Steve is headed out on a trip.
May 20, 2014 Det. Meisler calls Steve Kraus, leaves message.
May 22. 2014 Steve Kraus talks to Det. Meisler by phone.
May 28, 2014 Attorney Jim Hart calls Det. Meisler and says he is representing Steve Kraus.
July 2, 2014 Ottawa County Prosecutor Mark Mulligan’s Official State email (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 7:43am opens a fundraising advertisement received from Steve Kraus’s campaign, which states Kraus is running for the 89th Ohio House.
June 6, 2014 Attorney Jim Hart has phone conversation with Jenine Porter. Porter is quoted as saying, “Kraus was only trying to help”.
July 15, 2014 Det. Meisler finishes investigation and forwards everything to Mulligan including cover letter, complaint report, investigational report, and photos.
July 22, 2014 Allegedly as told to me by Tracy Thom, One week AFTER your case was turned in (to Prosecutor Mark Mulligan), Mulligan called him (Mark Meisler), …and says, “Do you know who this is???!!! He’s going to run against Redfern!!!”
July 22, 2014 Referred to T. Stilwalt to review (Kraus case) as special prosecutor.
July 29, 2014 to MEM (Ottawa County Prosecutor).
Sept 2, 2014 to MEM (Ottawa County Prosecutor).
Sept 4, 2014 Melissa Bergman takes up the duties as special prosecutor in Kraus case.
Sept 18, 2014 Mulligrams’ sent to Police telling them not to release Police Incident Reports for Public Records Request.
Sept 22, 2014 to MEM (Ottawa County Prosecutor).
Sept 22, 2014 Allegedly as told to me by Tracy Thom, she meets with Meisler’s (Danbury Police), about the Stephenson case. While talking to them, I (Tracy Thom) just said I decided to help the guy running against Redfern. They (Meisler’s) looked at each other and said, “naw, you don’t want to do that”. So they told me about the case. I still said, “well, print me off the report, so I can decide on my own”. That was the first time they didn’t release a public record to me! I was like WTF?? They told me Mulligan said “no”. I was like, you guys hate him, just give it to me, and they refused. So BOOM, I get into the car, call Matt W. (Westerhold), he dares me to go to Mulligans office, but tells me to record it. So I did.
Sept 22, 2015 Allegedly as told to me by Tracy Thom, she then goes and meets with Mark Mulligan, asks for Police Incident Report regarding Steve Kraus. Not only is Mulligan on tape refusing to give me a public record, he is offering a solution. Call Jenine Porter, she is a republican. She knows all the details, she will tell you. Public Records Request denied, Mulligan insinuates that Steve Kraus is a bad person, showed Tracy Thom the police incident report and a Sept 8, 2014 email from him to Melissa Bergman. Mulligan tells Thom to talk to special prosecutor Melissa Bergman, Jenine Porter and Helen Stein. Mulligan gives Tracy Thom the contact info for Bergman and Porter. Tracy Thom records conversation. Two tapes, #2 transcribed, at end of this report.
Sept 23, 2014 hold for 60 days – pull Nov 23, 2014
Sept 24, 2014 Melissa Bergman contacts Kraus’ attorney Jim Hart, sends Police Incident Report and asks Kraus to plea to two misdemeanors.
Sept 25, 2014 Kraus meets with Jim Hart, volunteers to take polygraph.
Sept 25, 2014 Sandusky Register submits a Public Records Request to Mulligan for the Police Incident Report concerning Steve Kraus and runs story. Mulligan denies Public Records Request. Kraus claims dirty politics and early October Surprise.
Sept 25, 2014 Sandusky Register emails Public Record Request to Mark Mulligans office trying to get Mulligan to release the Police Incident Report of April 7, 2014 regarding Steve Kraus and the violations this represents of ORC 149.43.
Sept 26, 2014 Sandusky Register emails Public Record Request to Mark Mulligans office trying to get Mulligan to release the Police Incident Report of April 7, 2014 regarding Steve Kraus. Additionally, Sandusky Register submits a review by legal expert of Mulligans non-compliance, “That makes me sick. This is plainly against the law, unequivocally against the law. It’s extremely disappointing the chief law enforcement officer in your county would take a position that’s against the law. The only thing it takes to know what he’s saying is against the law is the ability to read.”
Sept 26, 2014 Melissa Bergman talks to Mark Mulligan on the phone and tells him she is not recommending charges against Mr. Kraus. Per Bergman’s email of Sept 29, 2014. Why did Prosecutor Bergman change her mind?
Sept 28, 2014 Sandusky Register emails Public Record Request to Mark Mulligans office trying to get Mulligan to comply with Public Records Request and release the Police Incident Report of April 7, 2014 regarding Steve Kraus. “Clearly sir, we have requested the incident reports. Your replies about investigative reports are non-response to these public records requests.”
Sept 29, 2014 Tracy Thom emails Public Record Request to Mark Mulligans office trying to get Mulligan to comply with Public Records Request and release the Police Incident Report of April 7, 2014 regarding Steve Kraus.
Sept 29, 2014 Melissa Bergman email Mark Mulligan and states she “…will not recommend charges against Mr. Kraus”.
Sept 29, 2014 Mulligan releases the first two pages of the Police Incident Report with suspect’s name blackened out to the Sandusky Register. Sandusky Register publishes first two pages.
Sept 29, 2014 Steve Kraus takes and passes a polygraph test.
Sept 30, 2014 Melissa Bergman speaks to Kraus’ attorney Jim Hart, says she is not recommending charges against Mr. Kraus.
Oct 1, 2014 Sandusky Register publishes the Police Incident Report concerning Mr. Kraus released by Mark Mulligan of April 7, 2014 with completed investigation date of July 15, 2014.
Oct 1, 2014 Mulligan and Braun meet to review my file for 96 minutes or 1.6 hours. No records received for this meeting in my Public Records Request.
Oct 2, 2014 Application for Appointment of Special Prosecutor by Ottawa County Prosecutor, Mark Mulligan of Timothy Braun as special prosecutor for Kraus case.
QUESTION: Since Bergman was the agreed Special Prosecutor as of Sept. 4, 2014, why did Mark Mulligan not make application to the court for her appointment to take her recommendation of “no charges” to the Grand Jury to receive a “no bill”?
Oct 3, 2014 Mark Mulligan communicates with Det. Mark Meisler on the re-interview (reopen of the completed investigation of July 15, 2014), of Jenine Porter. Additionally, Mulligan directs Det. Meisler to share information with special prosecutor Timothy Braun.
Oct 6, 2014 Timothy Braun discusses case with Det. Meisler for .1 hours.
Oct 07, 2014 Memorandum in Support of Application for Appointment of Special Prosecutor by Ottawa County Prosecutor, Mark Mulligan of Timothy Braun as special prosecutor for Kraus case. In this application Mulligan states, “Mr. Kraus is currently a candidate for the Ohio House of Representatives. His opponent is Chris Redfern. The election is scheduled for November 2014. Thus, the allegations have the potential to influence an election”. He then goes on to state that, “Due to my past associations with Rep. Redfern and to avoid the appearance of an impermissible conflict, the services of a special prosecutor are appropriate.
QUESTION: Since Bergman was the agreed Special Prosecutor as of Sept. 4, 2014, why did Mark Mulligan not make application to the court for her appointment to take her recommendation of “no charges” to the Grand Jury to receive a “no bill” since “the allegations have the potential to influence an election?” In My Opinion a “no bill” would only help candidate Steve Kraus, and indictment would only help incumbent Representative Redfern.
It has also been alleged by Mulligan that “new evidence” was discovered around October 1, 2014. What was this “new evidence” and why was it not given to the agreed special prosecutor Melissa Bergman to review?
Oct 09, 2014 Judgment Entry Judge Bruce Winters recuses himself from Kraus case. This sets up a series of events outside Mulligans control.
Oct 13, 2014 Det. Meisler re-interviews Jenine Porter.
Is this the “new evidence” that Mulligan referred to around October 1, 2014? If so, is Mark Mulligan clairvoyant and knew 13 days into the future that Jenine Porter would bring forth “new evidence” not yet known in the completed police investigation of July 15, 2014? Additionally, since Mark Mulligan had recused himself for an “impermissible conflict” because of his relationship with Rep. Redfern, and Timothy Braun was NOT yet appointed Special Prosecutor, and Judge Winters has RECUSED himself from the case and retired visiting Judge Dale Crawford had NOT YET BEEN APPOINTED by the Ohio Supreme Court, exactly under WHO’S authority was private attorney Timothy Braun working under and WHO was giving judicial oversight? Who directed Detective Meisler to re-interview Jenine Porter and directed him to share the information with Timothy Braun? See Oct. 3, 2014 entry.
Oct 14, 2014 Det. Meisler meets with Timothy Braun and reviews materials for 3.1 hours.
Oct 14, 2014 Kraus/Redfern Debate Sandusky High School, State Rep. Redfern shares information not yet publicly known.
REDFERN SAID (6:15 min mark in video): “The Republican realtor who contacted the Danbury Chief of Police suggested that items were taken without any kind of permission and those items were taken, those allegation’s are that Mr. Kraus took them, it occurred on April 7.”
REDFERN SAID (6:52 min mark in video): “Items were taken by Mr. Kraus, they weren’t returned and he’ll have his day in court to explain.”
Was Redfern privy to information from the October 13, 2014, re-interview of Jenine Porter? Did Mulligan authorize and direct this police investigation on Oct 3rd? NOTE: There was no Judge assigned to my case after Oct 9th until Judge Crawford was appointed on Oct 28th and then he appointed Braun on Oct 31st. What was Braun’s authority to act?
How/where did State Rep. Redfern get this NEW information?
- Redfern for the first time says it was a republican realtor.
- Redfern says Porter reported it to the Danbury Police Chief.
- Redfern says he’ll (Mr. Kraus) have his day in court to explain”.
Nowhere in Porters testimony is it recorded that she talked to the Chief of Police Meisler (Det. Meisler’s twin brother).
How did Redfern get this information?
Oct 28, 2014 Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice O’Conner appoints Retired Visiting Judge Dale Crawford to Kraus case.
Oct 28, 2014 Ottawa County Grand Jury Meets.
Oct 31, 2014 Judgment Entry upon application of Prosecuting Attorney (Mark Mulligan), the Court appoints Timothy Braun as special prosecutor for Kraus case. Signed by visiting Judge Dale Crawford.
Nov 4, 2014 General Election, Kraus defeats State Rep. Redfern, and is elected to the 89th Statehouse District.
Kraus gets 51.2% of the 37,832 votes with the Democratic incumbent getting 48.8%.
Nov 12, 2014 State Rep. Redfern communicates with Ottawa County Prosecutor Mark Mulligan state email (email@example.com), “Also ask Mark when Steve Kraus case will be handled”? Lisa Sarty of Mulligan’s office replied by giving Redfern the name and contact cell phone number (not office number), of the third special prosecutor Timothy Braun.
Nov 19, 2014 or 17th? Ottawa County Grand Jury indicts Steve Kraus for burglary, theft and breaking and entering.
Nov 20, 2014 Toledo Blade contacts Danbury Township Police, Mark Mulligan’s office with a Public Records Request for the Police Incident Report concerning Steve Kraus. Denied Public Records Request, given the contact information for special prosecutor Timothy Braun and office (not cell), phone number.
Nov 24, 2014 Lisa Sarty of the Ottawa County Prosecutors Office gives Jean Deis; James Van Eerten special prosecutor Timothy Braun’s contact info and office (not cell), phone number.
Dec 15, 2014 Timothy Braun submits a bill to Mark Mulligan for billable hours in the special prosecution in State V. Kraus, 14CR-150. Special Prosecutor reports billable hours from Oct 01, 2014 thru Dec 11, 2014.
Dec 22, 2014 County Prosecutor Mark Mulligan “requests the approval of payment to Attorney Tim Braun for services rendered”.
Jan 07, 2015 Visiting Judge Dale Crawford approves payment of $1,640.00 to Tim Braun. Braun is paid for hours worked on Oct 1, 6, and 14th, 2014, which is before Braun was officially assigned to the case.
Jan 8th, 2015 Steve Kraus takes office. Appointed to?
Apr 7, 2015 Det. Meisler goes to “crime scene” for first time, takes pictures of outside of structures.
Apr 15, 2015 Trial continued.
June 26, 2015 At pre-trial, prosecution offered to drop all three-felony charges to diversion if I would resign my State Rep. Seat.
July 21, 2015 At pre-trial, prosecution offered to drop all three-felony charges to diversion if I would resign my State Rep. Seat.
July 22-27, 2015 Trial of Steve Kraus
July 27, 2015 @ Not Guilty; Not Guilty; Guilty
July 27, 2015 Rep. Kraus removed from office.
Aug 21, 2015 Kraus files a motion for a new trial.
Aug 21, 2015 Mr. Kraus sentenced.
Sentenced to probation and “Community control”.
Judge Crawford verbally denies the motion for a new trial, but does not journalize it nor officially deny it in writing.
Questions to contemplate:
Aug 27, 2015 Kraus files another appeal.?
Sept 3, 2015 Mulligan’s email response to Ed Patrick that “With regard to Mr. Kraus’ case, unfortunate circumstances led an investigator (not a prosecutor) to look into the case. At the time, I did not know Mr. Kraus, nor did I know he was running for office. Upon learning of Mr. Kraus’ upcoming election, and in order to avoid any appearance of impropriety, I requested an outside (special) prosecutor. Therefore, your assumption that Mr. Kraus’ prosecution was politically motivated is absolutely wrong. In fact, the special prosecutor appointed to the Kraus case recently ran for office as a Republican, and the key witness against Mr. Kraus also ran for office as a Republican.” This is after Mulligan had shopped three special prosecutors.
Sept 11, 2015 – Case sent back to Ottawa County Common Pleas Court until that ruling is properly entered.
Sept 14, 2015 – Sentence and judgement stayed by Judge Crawford pending the appeal. However, Kraus is out on bond, but must report in for probation monthly and is subject to travel restrictions, even though he “has not officially been sentenced.” See PDF on articles skKrauswantsjudgecrawford.pdf
Jan 14, 2016 –Motion to dismiss judge filed.
Steve files an affidavit of disqualification to the Ohio Supreme Court asking them to remove Judge Dale Crawford, alleging bias towards Kraus as evidenced by the delay in his appeal process.