Attorney General Puts Director On Leave
Attorney General Marc Dann on Monday placed his communications chief on administrative leave citing new information received in a sexual harassment investigation.
According to a release issued by Dann's office, Communications Director Leo Jennings would remain on paid leave while the investigation moved forward.
"This morning, Mr. Jennings was placed on administrative leave and that was done because of new information that came into the office over the weekend," said Ted Hart, the acting spokesman in Dann's office.
Dann did not elaborate on the information received over the weekend.
Dann's press secretary, Jim Gravelle, was handed responsibility of the Attorney General's communication department, 10 Investigates' Paul Aker reported.
Last week, two female staffers in the Attorney General's Office filed complaints with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that Anthony Gutierrez, Dann's director of general services, pressured them to have sex with them.
At least one of the alleged incidents occurred at a Dublin condominium complex where Dann, Gutierrez and Jennings shared a residence.
Gutierrez was placed on paid administrative leave last week. At that time, Jennings stepped forward to say that sexual harassment would not be tolerated, Aker reported.
Dann told 10 Investigates last week that his office would conduct the investigation into the claims, instead of allowing an outside agency to handle the case.
"We're following the process to the letter," Dann said, "which means there is an internal investigation first, and under our policy, there is a right of appeal. We can bring in an outside person at that point."
Dann also denied the female staffers' claims that he had an improper relationship with his personal scheduler at the condo.
Dann acknowledged that his assistant was inside his condo, but said she was only there to deliver his schedule, which he preferred to carry in person rather than in an electronic device.
Hart would not say what information led to Jennings' suspension except that it was relevant to the investigation and has not affected Dann's leadership.
"Overall, the Attorney General's office continues to function well and Attorney General Dann is committed to doing what's important to the state of Ohio," Dann said.
Jennings is paid $102,000 a year. In September, he was reprimanded for using inappropriate language in an e-mail to a colleague.
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April 9, 2008: Attorney General Addresses Claims Against Services Director
April 8, 2008: Attorney General Staffers File Federal Complaint