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Marc Dann must resign

May 2, 2008
Herald-Star
Ohio Attorney General aide Anthony Gutierrez violated the office’s sexual harassment policy. Attorney General Marc Dann fired him.

Ohio Attorney General Communications Chief Leo Jennings tried to get an office employee to lie under oath. Dann fired him.

Ohio Attorney General policy chief Edgar Simpson failed to report inappropriate behavior in the office. Dann forced him to resign.

Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann had a romantic extra-marital relationship with an office employee. Dann forced himself to make a public apology.

The attorney general said Gutierrez, Jennings and Simpson deserve to be unemployed today. The attorney general said he takes full responsibility for their actions. But Dann said he will keep his job.

The hypocrisy and double standards that have plagued this once respectable state office will continue until Dann himself resigns. He should have done that Friday. He did not. We urge him to resign today.

Dann said his public apology to his wife and children is punishment enough. Dann said he does not deserve to step down because his consensual romantic relationship with an employee did not violate the office’s sexual harassment policy. Dann said he suffered enough because he agonized for weeks, unable to come forward publicly because his comments could jeopardize an investigation.

The attorney general announced Friday he will end the inappropriate culture that ran rampant through the office. Two years ago, when running for attorney general, Dann vowed to end what he called a culture of corruption in Republican-controlled state government. The Democrat said he now looks forward to a ‘‘second transition’’ that will clean up the office.

The only second transition should be from Dann to somebody else. Dann invited into his apartment for drinks the woman who claimed Gutierrez sexually harassed her. Dann said he was not prepared to be Ohio’s attorney general and not ready to handle an office so big when he took over a little more than a year ago. This office, second in significance only to the governor’s, is riddled with casual behavior, drinking and vulgarities, according to a state investigation. The Ohio State Highway Patrol is continuing to investigate reports that Gutierrez drove a state vehicle while drunk and more than once crashed a state vehicle after drinking.

It is unfathomable to think that Dann deserves to be Ohio’s attorney general. Dann, who often bragged about the similarities between himself and former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, should add one more similarity.

He should resign in disgrace.

 
 
 

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