Calls For Dann's Impeachment Soften

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Lawmakers continued to threaten embattled Attorney General Marc Dann with impeachment on Tuesday, but the tone was distinctively softer as those same lawmakers determined how the process of impeachment would work.
 
Top Democrats, including Gov. Ted Strickland, sent Dann a letter on Sunday demanding that he resign from office immediately.

 
 "We are ready to take whatever action is necessary," Strickland told reporters.
 
The letter was sent after a sexual harassment investigation inside the attorney general's office led to the ousting of three top aides. The scandal grew larger when Dann himself admitted to an affair with an office employee.
 
In a memo to his staff on Monday, Dann all but denied the request to step down, and instead wrote that he was rolling up his sleeves and going to work for the State of Ohio.
 
Despite the strong words from politicians on Monday, lawmakers in charge slowed their charge on Tuesday.
 
Ohio House Speaker Jon Husted said all the facts were needed before impeachment was sought.
 
"I think we could be setting dangerous precedent," Husted said. "That is why we need to gather all of the facts."
 
Part of the question is whether Dann's actions rise to legal requirements of impeachment, 10 Investigates' Paul Aker reported.
 
He admitted bad management and acknowledged that his behavior may have led to the sexual harassment of two staffers, but no one has said it was illegal. According to the state constitution, impeachment requires at least a misdemeanor.
 
But what is a misdemeanor? The lawbooks don't offer a lot of clear answers, Aker reported.
 
Black's Law Dictionary defines a misdemeanor as, "offenses lower than felonies and generally those punishable by fine or imprisonment otherwise than in the penitentiary."
 
Former judge and current Rep. Bill Batchelder, R-Medina, is studying the misdemeanor issue now.
 
"A misdemeanor, according to Justice Story of the federal Supreme Court, is a lot less than some people think," Batchelder said.
 
At least one lawmaker told 10TV News that a misdemeanor means crime, and in Dann's case, he has not seen the case.
 
"At this particular time I don't think what we're reading in the paper and what's been said rises to the occasion of impeachment," said Rep. Bob Hagan, D-Youngstown.
 
Batchelder planned to file his report with the house speaker by the end of the week.
 
No other timelines were given.
 
Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for additional information.

Previous Stories:

May 6, 2008: Dann Working Despite Calls To Resign
May 3, 2008: Democrats Call For Dann To Leave Office
May 2, 2008: 3 Aides Ousted; AG Admits Affair
April 30, 2008: Dan Staffer Claims Someone Ransacked Her Office
April 29, 2008: Suspended AG Administrator Tied Into Other Crash
April 23, 2008: Gutierrez To Face Second Investigation
April 22, 2008: Police: No Criminal Charges Filed In Sexual Harassment Case
April 18, 2008: Man In Sexual Harassment Investigation Had Previous Legal Problems
April 17, 2008: Technical Glitches Arise In Sexual Harassment Case
April 16, 2008: New Details Emerge In Sexual Harassment Case
April 14, 2008: Attorney General Puts Director On Leave
April 9, 2008: Attorney General Addresses Claims Against Services Director
April 8, 2008: Attorney General Staffers File Federal Complaint
April 7, 2008: Attorney General Suspends Director Amid Sexual Harassment Claims