An Open Letter/Response to Nick Busick

Nick, you gave a very detailed and public response to my previous blog article. Normally,  I would ignore such baseless attacks. However, I felt it was only appropriate that I respond to you.  It was so long I felt it deserved its own article to address your obvious attempt to use your celebrity to try and publicly undermine my credibility and the integrity of what we do at Behind The Yellow Tape.

In an effort assure that your comments and points raised are addressed as completely as possible and to make this as easy as possible for you and readers to follow, I will follow a similar format as the one you have presented. Your quote of my words in your response is italicized and underlined.  Your words are in bold and no words were changed in any way. My response will be below those two sections and so forth.  (the previous article, “Busick Documents…you decide” can be referenced to check for accuracy)

Ortega: He claimed that I was sensationalizing his Bronco’s case and that I essentially made him and his crimes seem worse…worse?

Busick – Here is a prime example of sensationlizing. Look how the word “worse” is used twice. Further, Ortega would not allow me to record the conversation. That in and of itself should tell you something. What I said to Ortega was his investigation skills were sub standard because he used “Half Truths” to make himself look good and promote his show. Sorry JOEY … you lied on this one. Hey JOEY … correct spelling is BRANKO not Bronco.

I seek to communicate the facts of the cases we take on and report about AND my thoughts and opinions of them.  Sensationalism is defined as presenting something in a way with the INTENT of provoking others.  For example, “Branko’s father Nick, whose career success has relied on the personification and glorification of a “big bully” called me, angry after my expressed disgust that his son’s violent actions went essentially unaccounted for because, in part, of a prosecutor who used her credibility to help keep him out of prison because he was a buddy to her son”.  Though the above is essentially true, it is presented in a way leaves out nuances and context that would oversimplify your position and clearly show an attempt to make others respond in an angry or disgusted way towards that position.   My use of the repeated “worse” was to convey MY feelings about what seemed to be an attempt to minimize the violence involved in Branko’s case, which was confusion and disgust. It was not an attempt to push the reader’s feelings in any direction. It’s what one does in talk radio. They report and discuss issues and provide a forum for listeners to convey their thoughts and opinions as well.

Not wanting to record a conversation means or proves nothing. Pointing that out with no other real connecting point or even an attempt at valid reasoning other than “that in and of itself should tell you something” seems more like an attempt to get others to think what you want them to think; that maybe I was hiding something or I am a liar.  There’s a word for that, Sensationalizing.

None of what I said was a “half truth”, nor have you even offered evidence to that claim. You are however attempting to sensationalize our phone conversation to convince readers to question my integrity.  I fail to see how any of that should to cause anyone question the integrity or investigative ability of anyone other than the one who would resort to such cheap devices at all, let alone from the very beginning.

As for spelling, please know that aside from simple typing error, there are conflicting spellings of your son’s name between the online postings, news clips, and court documents. That being said, I do apologize for the error and will correct accordingly ASAP.

Ortega: Anyway I explained that my bringing up the case was never to embarrass anyone nor malign them anymore than they maligned themselves but to make clear the nature of his crimes and that when juxtaposed with Jane Hanlin’s duty to the public it just seemed improper and brought to the surface yet moe questions about her objectivity and priorities. Furthermore I made clear that this view was by no means unique to me. He made the same claim that many do when they don’t like something I wrote or reported; since I don’t have all documented details or using limited ones that I clearly am not doing my research.

Busick – Ortega’s style of using “half truths” can in no way make anything clear. Even Ortega admits there is underlying circumstance when using the word “seemed”. JOEY makes claims and is correct that his view is shared by others. Did JOEY tell you those others may have an ax to grind? Did he check the creditability of others? Some have creditability and some are in quesiton. Point is JOEY failed to dig deeper and uses only easily obtained documents in an attempt to sway what little audience he has and further excite the ones he does have.

Calling something a “half truth” over and over does not make it so.

I pointed out that many in the community are angry at Hanlin’s decision to testify and how she carried out that decision.  That is the truth.  I don’t need to investigate or vet every community member or organization that expressed outrage to make that observation true, it is verified by plenty of online and news sources independent of me and my show that quote or cite people not happy with Jane’s actions.  If I had said that because of the words of a community member or organization and their words alone, proves that Hanlin acted unethically, your argument would then make sense.  However, I never said nor did I imply such.  I simply pointed out the outrage and offered information and opinions as to why that outrage is understandable and possibly justified.  Furthermore I brought in an attorney to correct me on any legal aspect that I may be unaware of that could possibly cause Hanlin’s actions to be seen differently. Regardless of what I did or did not uncover about any one person or organization would not change the truth of my saying people are outraged.

Ortega: First, I always do my research and just because I don’t publish every piece of paper is not indicative of otherwise. Sometimes I choose not to in an effort to avoid more than necessary detail required and and possibly causing more undue social or emotional strain on the person(s) being reported about. Sometimes it’s just to save them some honor and dignity. I am not like some mainstream media outlets that seek that next scoop or humiliating moment to cash in on.

Busick – Ortega attempts to build his creditability in the above pagagraph and clearly makes my points.

I referred to Branko’s case in the context of our discussion of Hanlin’s history of ethically questionable actions.  It was not an analysis of Branko’s case nor of his guilt or innocence.  I referred to his sentencing and Hanlin’s role.  I didn’t dispute his own agreement to the verdict  or anything said in the transcript of Hanlin’s testimony.

I was answering false and logically ridiculous claims that not posting documents to all matters referred to clearly means I did not do research.  I explained some of the reasoning behind my decisions on what documents to post and what not to post. So I’m not sure what point is being proven. You made no points thus far only a series of innuendo, unfounded claims and personal attacks.

Ortega: I did invite Mr Busick to come in the air and assured him I would gladly give him the airtime needed to offer any other detail or fact of the case that he thought others should know. I hope he does come on soon. I also apologized to him for any upset but at the same time, reminded him that his son did commit some very violent crimes and he admitted to it. As a result he is subject to public discussion. He was charged with robbery 2 times involving separate occasions. That is a fact, not sensationalism. It may not be the actual charge after all the pleading and dealing but he was accountable for violent behavior nonetheless.

Busick – Now this is where Ortega comes the closest to using facts and not half truths. I consider being convicted of felonious assualt a violent crime. Being charged with and convicted of is completely two different things. Ortega is correct regarding on being “CHARGED” with two charges of robbery on two separate occasions. However, facts of the case came out as the case continued. There is no conviction for robberies on the original charges. Key word and question is charged vs convicted? Did JOEY even consider that? Did JOEY ask or investigate? NO The Police charged according to the original call and what evidence they had. As more evidence presented itself that was not the final conclusion. Any reporter let along an investigator that claims to have the background JOEY makes on his websites would dig deeper before making the statements he makes.

You still have yet to point out what is “half true”.  I gave due diligence investigation and received the final sentencing documents AND I posted that document. So it is clearly recognized that he was NOT convicted of robbery.  That was not denied in my last post it was affirmed (with words) and confirmed (an attached document).   Yes you agree that his final conviction was of a violent crime but now by pointing out the difference between a charge and conviction is first a refutation to an argument I never made and two, an implication that he was not guilty of even that crime.  So then what was he apologizing to the court for?  What is this “big mistake” that won’t be repeated that Hanlin and others was appealing to the court about?

If you’re saying he did no violence, Branko said as much, Hanlin saw this with her own eyes and thus went to a trial as witness to help prove his innocence and then I in turn, said I investigated and still say he is guilty but offer no proof then what you are saying above would mean something.

But no, what happened was your son was charged with one violent crime (robbery), convicted of another violent crime (assault), he did not make an appeal to that conviction.  Therefore, he was convicted of a violent crime.  People came to speak of his good character at his sentence not to deny the violent offense ever occurred but that because of his good character, they believed it would not happen again.   Either way the violence of his actions was never denied.  I did not dispute what transpired only the propriety of Hanlin’s involvement in the sentencing, more specifically her explicit use of her position to lend credence to an assurance about a family friend she can never guarantee and thus using the public trust given her in a way that gave an unfair benefit to a friend.

She was a sentencing, and it was to not appeal to his innocence but to help mitigate the sentencing of a family friend and the discussion was about just that and the ethical implications.  It’s clear that due diligence investigation was fully given to the matter, since the only matter under dispute is not Branko’s guilt or innocence but Hanlin’s ethics.

I believe you know this and I am wondering if you actually trying to refute any of my points or simply trying to redirect focus away from them.

Ortega: Until he does come on the show and just to assure him or anyone else that I do my homework the attached is not a copy of the docket, but a copy of the sentencing agreement form. I have had them for a while now. It clearly explains what the final outcome is and some of the clear reasoning.

Busick – I choose to respond here. I believe Ortega would like to have a former WWE wrestler with an extensive Law Enforcement & Investigation background on his show. It would be good for his show. Not going to do that. Combine that with the emotional pain of talking about my son’s case and Ortega wanting to tie this into other matters benefits no one but Ortega. The document Ortega refers to in the above paragraph does indeed support my position.

You ARE responding.  You called me, not the other way around. You said you would like to be on my show to offer your thoughts and give a perspective being overlooked by me and/or others regarding Branko and his case.  I agreed that it was only fair that a representative of a family publically discussed on air ought to be given a chance to respond just as publically.  It had nothing to do with your former WWE Status or your background in law enforcement, I also invited Branko’s mother who had written me on a separate occasion

Furthermore my show demands guests with the most qualification in their field not the most celebrity and my show has been successful as a result of upholding that standard. That being said, I have had people on my show who have either greater celebrity status and law enforcement background and knowledge. So either way, my show does not NEED you to appear. I was offering a gesture of goodwill and honoring your right to speak on behalf of Branko.

I think you really know this to be true and are simply trying to build yourself and your credibility up while at the same time trying to belittle me and my show.

That is interesting since, as I understand it, the theme of your tirade or more accurately thus far, diatribe, is that I am someone who makes false or unfounded claims about others and does no investigation on the matter being discussed, but instead bolsters my own creditability to give my words weight.

Well given what you said above and really the whole discussion thus far, what you say seems to suggest you have not really listened to or research what my show is or what we do; it seems that evidence is pointing to you being guilty of your own accusations and charges, not me.

Ortega: You decide, reader. Did I make a not so bad crime and situation, seem worse? Was he vindicated of violent behavior after all is said and done? Or is my assessment of a man with connections benefiting from the power and influence of a friend to avoid a punishment that would have been placed on any other offender guilty of the same actions, a not so far fetched assessment? Did he or did he not commit some very serious and violent offenses and is the fact that people are upset with a prosecutor helping him stay out of jail so wrong? I suppose, that I can’t blame the Busicks for doing whatever they had to to keep their son out of prison, what parent wouldn’t? In the end the integrity of the office of prosecutor and the confidence of the citizens is the responsibility of Jane Hanlin, as does responsibility of such. Maybe if Hanlin can see that enough and actually engage in an honest discussion about these issues then there may a chance that she can actually make a difference in Steubenville for the better.

Busick – Remember I never said Ortega made anything seem “worse”. This is where Ortega attempts to suck the reader in. It works becuase he got me to respond. This whole paragraph appeals for you the reader to support him.

I was addressing your contention over the phone that I offered no real backing for my words and may be misleading listeners at the expense of Branko.  I didn’t quote you as saying “worse” only attempted to communicate that the form of your objections implied that.  You have had a chance to clarify that here if I was wrong but you still have not done that because you seem more preoccupied with trying to personally attack me.

Even if I took out that portion of theparagraph, the paragraph would still stand on its own as it is me presenting documents that helped me come to my conclusions about this case and claiming that regardless of the final penal citation he was guilty of a violent crime, even you agreed above that felonious assault is indeed a violent crime. That paragraph invites the reader see the data for themselves and form their own answer to my question on whether they saw it as a violent crime and to have it supported by the same data I had.

I know of no transcript citation where Branko says he is agreeing to the verdict under protest or a plan to appeal, if anything it seemed as if he was affirming to the truth of what Hanlin and others were saying, that he is guilty of the final verdict and only asks that the court be lenient based on a belief that he is otherwise a good person who made a bad decision and would never do such again.  Only now does it seem that you are claiming that responsibility for even that charge ought not to be attributed to Branko.

So then if we are to believe that he agreed to a false verdict then we also have to agree he gave a false apology.  Don’t you see, you are not harming my arguments about the integrity of the sentencing proceedings you are supporting them. What’s worse you are not casting doubt on the reliability of my words but that of your own son and the sincerity of his repentant demeanor to the court on that day.

Ortega: If the Busicks can at least admit to themselves, if no one else that they knowingly exploited her position with complete disregard for the impact on the public trust they would not act so befuddled by the outrage and discussion of their son’s case. They can see that moving on for him will in the end be at much harder. Whereas others pay the price for their crimes and wrongs to their community, he will forever carry the stigma of one who committed another form of robbery to avoid accountability for charges of the same. He is not the victim, the public is. Perhaps the Busicks can start by asking themselves this one simple question, if all Jane was, was a community mom, would they have been so quick to call her to talk about the character of a man whom by her own admission, had not really been a part of her family’s life as before, for many years? If yes, then it begs the question why would a man of such great character fail to have many more credible witnesses that are part of his current life come forward? If no, then why act so outraged that people would be angry and not so willing to just say nothing as a criminal skates accountability at their expense?

Busick – JOEY crosses the line here and makes a personal attack on my family. We have always known our son’s case was newsworthy and never expected it not to be reported on. JOEY makes statements such as “pay the price for their crimes”. A very dear price was paid including incarceration for approximately ten months, conditions that come with the assault charge conviction that he will have to explain when applying for almost anything the rest of his life, and not to mention a life changing event for not only our son but our whole family. JOEY takes a case that is over a year and a half old and makes every attempt to resurrect it so he can have some platform to launch attacks at Jane Hanlin.

Additionally, to answer JOEY’s question in that paragraph … YES … read the document you posted and notice the credible witnesses that did testify not to mention a courtroom full of people on stand by that traveled over and hour to get there. Branko was well know for his community involvement with kids and his general overall character. Branko made a HUGE mistake that cost him dearly. He is working dilengtly to repair this mistake.

At no time has JOEY done any indepth background on the case that would bring out many factors. He relies on easily obtainable documents that only scratch the surface. I am not going to attack JOEY. He baited me with this article and I responded. Maybe I should not have responded? At this point, I have no intention of coming on his show. However, for those people who have the intelligence, there is way more to what JOEY is attempting to do and some of the folks who are championing him lack creditability and are hypocrites.

Because of my wrestling background, I have had the opportunity to travel this great country. I can tell you the finest people in the world live not only in Steubenville, but the whole Ohio Valley. There is not a better place to raise a family. I hope JOEY gets a life and reports on something more important than singling out a case over a year and a half old now, a small city in Ohio including the politics of such a small community. There alot of toasters missing in Sears. Maybe JOEY should reapply and get some more investigation experience. OOPS .. I said I wasn’t going to attack Joey. Sorry couldn’t resist one dig.

I asked, albeit a poignant but reasonable critical thinking question. Given that Hanlin could not speak to Branko’s current character and said such on the stand and that his attorney made it a point to bring up her position; would it not be reasonable to wonder if her position as a prosecutor may have been a factor in asking her to testify at all? Just because you may not like that question does not make it a persona attack.

I never said Branko suffered no consequences, only that his sentencing was not proportional to the consequences suffered by other who otherwise did not have a the advantage of a friend and prosecutor willing place the public trust and the authority and creditability that comes with that on the line to make an assurance she could never guarantee nor had a right to make in the first place under such pretexts.

I think it is you who should re-read that document I posted and the transcript. How did his attorney establish Hanlin’s credibility?  Note how Jane followed along with that to establish what some might deem an expert opinion about the likelihood of recidivism and how she punctuated opinion by throwing in her husband’s position as a police detective and the implied credibility that comes with that to back up a reference to confidential information on their desks that they technically should not be discussing with each other let alone just volunteered, unsolicited in a court room to help mitigate a friend’s sentence .

That is the very core and basis of my comments regarding Branko’s case no more no less.

I have done all the due background on Branko’s case as needed to establish relevance to the larger and ongoing background and discussion of Hanlin and her behavior not  Branko.

It is you who is trying to make this about Branko, no me. Whether or not you responded was the least of my concerns when I posted the last article. Insinuating that my listeners and supporters lack intelligence and are hypocrites does nothing to establish Branko’s good character, or yours for that matter.  A passive aggressive attempt at suggesting  that I am attacking all of Ohio valley because I am going after some scumbag rapists and what more and more seems like some corrupt community leaders says more about your view of the people there as a whole not me. At the very least reflects a cheap attempt to rally their anger against me based on such a tenuous argument.  I believe we covered what the word for that was.

Then ending it all with an attempt at biting wit (a failed one at that).  Pointing out a small portion of my investigative career track proves nothing of my credibility. But for the record I wasn’t after shoplifters during my retail tenure.  I investigated employees and mangers embezzling from the company, employees ripping off their customers financially,  as well as crime rings.  I was good at what I did. I never had to go to court to back up a case submitted to the DA nor the integrity of the methods used to gain confessions, which often ended up yielding even more investigative leads on current or new cases.  Not to say that even if I was chasing toasters back then, it would mean I am less than what I am now. I was also responsible for training those who did chase  toasters, jeans, power tools, etc who became very talented internal investigators in their own right and one well on a the track to a career in military intelligence.  He is proud of his roots and so am I. In fact I know many in the law enforcement community who got their starts at such type jobs.

But really that doesn’t matter, doesn’t it?  You and I both know you weren’t trying to make any intelligent point.  By the feigned apology (since I’m sure you know how to use a backspace button), it seems clear that is was nothing more than attempt to humiliate me, as a final act of desperation to distract from any of my points, since you failed to really address them, let alone refute them.

I suppose it would be an appropriate ending to your comments as it makes clear what it really was.

To sum it up, you failed to really defend Branko on anything (in fact may have made things worse),  spent most of the time offering baseless claims, refuting points I never made while never really trying to refute the one I actually did make,  and personally attacking me.

One can only conclude that all you really wanted was to reestablish whatever credibility or honor you feel was being diminished by trying to attack mine. If you actually want to have an intelligent, respectful and dignified conversation on their air or really clarify or correct something regarding Branko’s case you feel is pertinent to the actual focus of our show then, I am glad to keep my word and keep my invitation open to you or any other family member you wish to come on the air and speak their peace.

Until then I think all that needs to be said about this has been said. This was long and cumbersome response that I would avoid since this is what we do on radio not in a blog. However, as stated at the beginning, I did this to be sure your points were clearly addressed without interruption or distraction out of respect for both you and the readers.

However all I really am responding to, it seems, was an attempt (unsuccessfully) to build YOU up by trying to break ME down and to make others who may support me feel less than as well, there is a term for that too, Nick…. Big Bully.

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About behindtheyellowtape

Joey Ortega started his investigative career early at the age of 18 working as an apprentice investigator for local detectives. He started out doing insurance fraud investigations and background investigations. Proving adept in the areas surveillance and information gathering, Joey continued to seek further investigative challenges. From there he went on to do internal investigations for a number of companies that include; Sears, Roebuck Co., Saks Fifth Avenue, and K-mart. He was largely responsible for investigating issues of internal theft, embezzlement, workers comp fraud, and crime ring investigations. His success eventually earned him a position as a national investigator for a cellular chain, investigating crime rings on a national level. Trained in the Reid technique (interviewing/interrogation), Joey was able to gain confessions consistently without a single prosecution ever being challenged in court. Throughout his career as an internal investigator Joey continued to work for various private investigative agencies. Moving away from insurance fraud, Joey began developing his skills in the areas of criminal defense investigation, fidelity investigation, missing person’s investigations, and stalker investigations. It was the area of stalker investigations that Joey began to discover his passion for computer crime investigations. Having to learn quickly how to trace harassing and threatening emails, Joey began see that this is where the future of crime and justice was heading and decided to throw himself deeply into the subject. As a result, Joey’s clientele began to include those who were victims of internet fraud and cyber attacks. Joey is also the co-founder of The Ullemeyer Group, Inc. an investigative and training firm based in Santa Barbara, California that specializes in forensic training and consulting.
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