A flyer sent to more than 5,000 Wood County households this week compares two public officials to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler for their handling of an incident in a child-custody case.
The single-page card, delivered by the U.S. Postal Service this week, shows a photo of Mark Hummer, Lake Township’s police chief, and Wood County Prosecutor Paul Dobson alongside an image of Hitler, dressed in uniform giving the Nazi salute.
Are Mr. Dobson and Chief Hummer “resorting back to the 1930’s third reich (sic) era?” asks the flyer. It continues: “The residents of Wood County can decide.”
Andrew Prewitt said he paid for the bulk mailing to publicize what he calls unlawful tactics taken by the prosecutor and police chief in January in a custody dispute involving his daughter.
About 300 flyers that promote the Web site facingthecolorof-law.com went out Monday and 5,000 more were mailed Wednesday, said Mr. Prewitt, adding that he plans to send additional mailings to communities in Wood County as well as Columbus.
Since the mailings, Mr. Prewitt said he has received numerous hits on his Web site and about 1,000 emails, with responses that include anecdotes from others claiming to have had problems with the county courts regarding child-custody matters.
“I want everybody to be aware of what is going on,” he said. “I am bringing this issue to the public. This is not the only child this has happened to.”
Chief Hummer, who received a copy of the flyer, said he plans to discuss the literature with a lawyer to consider legal action.
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“My father and my grandfather were soldiers in World War II. To put me on a postcard with Adolf Hitler is disturbing and disgusting,” he said. “I don’t know why my picture is on a card with Adolf Hitler.”
Mr. Dobson said he had not read Mr. Prewitt’s Web site, but was aware of billboards he has used in the past to call attention to his child-custody dispute.
“We are obligated to follow the law,” Mr. Dobson said. “When law enforcement and prosecutors enforce the law, they are going to make some people upset, particularly the ones who are not compliant with the law.”
According to a township police report, officers went to Mr. Prewitt’s father’s Lake Township home Jan. 10 after he picked up his 12-year-old granddaughter at school and took her to the residence.
The report said the girl’s aunt had been given temporary custody by a Wood County court. However, the Prewitts told police they didn’t want her to return to the residence because she told them the aunt kept a gun at the house and the aunt’s boyfriend, a convicted felon, posed a threat to the girl.
Officers briefly allowed the child to stay with her father at his home in Northwood, but three days later, township police, pursuant to a court order, removed the girl from Mr. Prewitt’s home and attempted to return her to the aunt.
The girl refused to go with her aunt and was arrested in connection with delinquency for obstructing official business and later taken to the Wood County Juvenile Detention Center, the report said.
Chief Hummer said he was carrying out a judge’s order to place the girl in the aunt’s custody.
“I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was doing my job,” he said.
Contact Mark Reiter at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6199.