Attorney General Staffers File Federal Complaint
General Marc Dann on Tuesday withdrew himself from an internal investigation into claims that a member of his staff sexually harassed female employees.
Dann's announcement came on the same day that 10 Investigates first reported that Vanessa Stout and Cindy Stankoski filed a formal complaint in Cleveland with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Stout and Stankoski claimed that Anthony Gutierrez, who serves as Dann's director of general services, pressured them to have sex with him.
Both women declined comment to 10 Investigates on Tuesday.
At least one of the alleged incidents took place at a Dublin condominium complex where, until recently, Stout lived.
Gutierrez, Dann and communications director Leo Jennings once shared an apartment located across the street from Stout's residence, Aker reported.
Dann's campaign fund paid at least $1,300 in rent for the condo last summer.
When asked about allegations that he and Dann were present at the condo during one of the alleged incidents, Jennings declined to comment about details in the case.
"These are specific allegations that are being vetted in the course of the investigation," Jennings said.
When asked about Gutierrez's qualifications for his position inside Dann's office, Jennings said Dann and Gutierrez shared a longtime friendship.
"The attorney general has known Gutierrez for a long time," Jennings said. "Marc basically felt he was the best person for the job."
Jennings also said that Gutierrez had always done an excellent job in his capacity as director of general services.
After withdrawing from the investigation, Dann appointed ranking attorney Ben Espy to oversee the case, Aker reported.
Espy told 10 Investigates that he would be impartial when investigating the staffers' claims.
"I can be impartial because the scope of the investigation is very narrow," Espy said.
Staffers in Dann's office gave no indication as to how long the investigation could take, Aker reported.
Gutierrez was placed on paid administrative leave earlier this week.
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