Finkbeiner miffed at Ottawa County jail staff


Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner has accused Ottawa County sheriff s deputies of rude behavior and governmental arrogance after he was denied a chance to visit his stepson in the Ottawa County jail.

The reason? The mayor missed visiting hours.

In a Jan. 2 letter to Sheriff Robert Bratton, the mayor also said his wife, Amy, was denied use of the women s toilet earlier in the week during a visitation with Ryan Wittman, 29.

The sheriff said yesterday his deputies acted according to jail policy, but promised an internal investigation.

In their report, deputies said after Mr. Finkbeiner was told he couldn t visit his stepson, he put his hands up in the air and said, I m the mayor of Toledo, and continued to talk as he walked away from the entrance.

In his letter, written on private stationery, Mr. Finkbeiner wrote, Twice in one week, members of my family have been treated less professionally than I believe we deserve.

Having been in public office for almost two decades, I recognize governmental arrogance when I see it, he wrote. I think less of the Port Clinton minimum-security system as a result of the rudeness and governmental arrogance displayed to first my wife, then myself.

Mr. Wittman, whose most recent address is Port Clinton, is serving 90 days of a 180-day sentence handed down Oct. 27 in Ottawa County Municipal Court for drunken driving. He is scheduled for release Jan. 29.

Jail deputies turned away Mr. Finkbeiner on Dec. 30 because the last 20-minute visitation that Saturday had begun. No one else was allowed inside.

Visitation is allowed between 2 and 4 p.m. Saturdays and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Small groups are allowed in at a time, the sheriff said.

Mrs. Finkbeiner was visiting her son Dec. 23 when she asked to use the restroom. Sheriff Bratton said deputies told her the facility in the jail area was not open to the public.

The exchange between the deputies and the mayor took place through an intercom at the entrance to the jail.

The deputies incident report noted that after Mr. Finkbeiner was told he was late, the mayor said, I drove all the way from Toledo and I cannot visit.

He was advised to arrive earlier next time.

He became even louder and never stopped talking while I spoke so I was unable to make out all of what he said, the deputy reported, saying he tried to explain security precautions for visitation.

He again would not stop talking to listen to my response. I then wanted to let him know our conversation was over, so politely I told him to leave.

Mayor Finkbeiner, through spokesman Brian Schwartz, declined to comment.

There was no verbal altercation, Mr. Schwartz said. It s a personal matter that he does not wish to comment on.

Sheriff Bratton said the exchange at the entrance lasted about 30 seconds. It was a private matter until he shot his mouth off, the sheriff said.

Contact: Jim Sielicki at: or 419-724-6078