TIFFIN, OH – Independent analysts from the Ohio News Network have determined that the Advertiser-Tribune’s coverage of the story regarding the arrest of Stan Poe, a Bettsville village councilman and President & CEO of Biehler-Poe Enterprises, LLC, a local IT services company based in Bettsville, was largely riddled with inaccuracies. WTOL’s coverage of the story also raised some concerns, according to the report.
The Ohio News Network is a Facebook-based organization publishing important news stories from across the state that also analyzes and keeps a profile of several newspapers, local TV stations, etc. in terms of inaccurate information placed in stories. The organization claims that there were several inaccurate statements and presumptions made in several articles that the Advertiser-Tribune published in the days following Poe’s arrest, including that he was “accused of being naked on his back porch,” even though Mr. Poe’s property does not contain a “back porch” (it contains a fairly private deck with a hot tub built-in).
WTOL’s original reporting of the story was entirely composed of information from a similar incident that happened in 2007, with no mention of information from the actual event it was supposed to be in regards to. It was later corrected with entirely new information from the Friday, July 28 incident.
The network said that the most accurate article, according to police reports and other materials, was the one written by the Fostoria Review-Times, which can be read here.
Poe was taken into custody by Seneca County sheriff’s deputies around 5:15 p.m. Friday, July 28, 2017 on the second-degree misdemeanor charge of public indecency, according to personnel at the county jail. A report from the sheriff’s office states they received a call at 3:45 p.m. from Doyle Durst, [who is believed to have been drinking several alcoholic beverages prior to making the call], asking for a deputy to respond to a complaint involving “a problem with a neighbor.” The report states deputies had one person in custody and was mirandized. That person turned out to be Poe. He was taken to the county jail and processed before Poe posted a $4,000 bond at 8:55 p.m., according to the jail official.
When contacted by the Review Times Sunday for comment, Poe emailed a copy of a letter addressed to an FBI agent he has said in the past was investigating incidents of wrongdoing by other Bettsville officials. In that letter, Poe states he posted a $2,000 cash bond on the charge, not $4,000 as the county jail official reported. He also said the charge stems from an allegation he was seen by neighbors in his yard naked, which Poe denies in the letter.
“Along with other ‘issues’ regarding the village of Bettsville, I was arrested on Friday, July 28th at my home, taken to the Seneca County Sheriff’s office and, after a 4 hour ‘booking,’ paid a $2,000 all cash bond and returned home,” the letter states. “I have a Monday, July 31st 9:00 a.m. initial court appearance.”
Poe said a neighbor from two houses down from his was apparently at his next-door neighbor’s house when the alleged incident occurred.
“I was on our backyard deck having just finished a repair to our hot tub. The neighbor from 2-doors over, but visiting next door, came onto our property uninvited and unwelcomed. He stated, ‘I’ll bet (village) council would love to see THIS!’ My reply was, ‘What are you talking about?’ He replied with, ‘You being out here in your back yard naked!’”
Poe said the neighbor then called Poe’s immediate neighbor over, saying Poe was “done,” a reference Poe said was to his time on village council, then telling Poe he was “calling the law.”
“I was not ‘naked.’ I was sitting on the step (going into my studio) of our enclosed hot tub deck on OUR PROPERTY surrounded by trees and bushes, making it virtually impossible for any neighbor to even see the deck itself, let alone me on the step of the going-into-the-studio deck.”
Poe said Durst, his neighbor from two houses down, came onto his property “uninvited and unwelcomed,” saying something about a volleyball or soccer ball coming into Poe’s yard.
“He carried no such ‘ball’ as he further approached our enclosed deck with his rant,” Poe continued in his letter to the FBI agent.
Poe said he then went onto his front porch, waiting to see if the neighbor actually called the sheriff’s office.
“After 45 minutes or more, I welcomed a deputy by saying, ‘I’m glad you’re here… I’d like to file trespass charges against my neighbor, Doyle Durst.’
In the letter, Poe appears to say the actions of his neighbors is “intimidating” and possibly “harassing.”