Dann Working Despite Calls To Resign

Gov. Ted Strickland and other top Democrats sent a letter to embattled Attorney General Marc Dann on Sunday evening, urging him to resign from his position as the state's top lawyer.
In a memo to his staff on Monday, Dann all but denied the request. He wrote that there was a great chance that he and his office could continue to do great work for the residents of Ohio.
The Democrat's request for Dann's resignation came on the heels of a sexual harassment investigation that resulted in the ousting of three top attorney general aides last week.
Shortly after the investigation's findings were made public, Dann admitted to an affair with an office employee.

"We write to you tonight to ask that you resign your position as Attorney General of the State of Ohio," the letter read. "We believe that your actions have irreparably harmed your ability to effectively serve the people of our great state."
The letter also said that if Dann should choose not to resign, then Democratic members of the House of Representatives would introduce a resolution seeking Dann's impeachment.
"We sincerely hope that this action will not be necessary and that you will act in the best interest of the people of Ohio by tendering your resignation Monday morning," the letter read.
In addition to Strickland, the letter was signed by Sen. Sherrod Brown, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, Treasurer Richard Cordray, Senate Minority Leader Ray Miller, House Minority Leader Joyce Beatty and Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern.
Strickland took the steps of the state capitol on Monday and outlined what he and other Democratic leaders planned next.
"I am the governor," Strickland said. "Marc Dann is a Democratic office holder, as am I, and I'm calling for his resignation," Strickland said.
"And I am saying I will encourage impeachment if he refuses to step down."
Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern also spoke during a news conference on Monday and promised that Dann would be alienated by other party members.
"We will distance ourselves both figuratively and literally from the attorney general until he makes the decision that's best for the people of the State of Ohio," Redfern said. "That is to step down from the office in which he was elected."
Dann responded to Sunday's lettert in an e-mail sent to his office's employees. In his response, Dann gave no indication that he would offer his resignation.
"I am in the office, have rolled up my sleeves and am working on behalf of the people of the State of Ohio," Dann wrote.
"I know that this is difficult, and I am truly sorry to have put all of you in this position," Dann wrote. "But our work is too important to do anything but our jobs today."
In April, staffers Cindy Stankoski and Vanessa Stout filed formal sexual harassment complaints against Anthony Gutierrez, Dann's general services director. The women claimed Gutierrez pressured them to have sex with him.
Stankoski, 26, also said that after a night of drinking with Gutierrez, she passed out in the bedroom of his Dublin condominium and awakened next to him with her pants unbuttoned, 10TV's Patrick Bell reported.
Gutierrez was terminated from his position on Friday, along with Dann's communications chief, Leo Jennings, who was accused of interfering with the internal investigation by asking Jennifer Urban, an assistant attorney, to lie about a dinner at the Ocean Club, 10TV News reported.
Ed Simpson, who served as chief of policy and administration, offered his resignation the night before the investigation's findings were released. The investigation found Simpson had failed to look into the women's harassment complaints.
The investigation also criticized Dann.
It said the attorney general showed poor judgment in having Stankoski over for drinks and pizza, and said arrangements should have been made to take her home when it was apparent she was intoxicated.
Is Impeachment Possible?
Democrats and Republicans told 10TV News that there are grounds to impeach Dann, and a resolution for his impeachment could come as early as Tuesday, 10TV's Cara Connelly reported.
According to the Ohio Constitution, all state officers, from judges to the governor, can be impeached for any misdemeanor in office.
For the process to begin, a simple majority of the House of Representatives is needed. Democratic leaders said they would not have to detail what misdemeanors the office holder is being accused of, Connelly reported.
Once a majority is reached, a trial would be held in the Senate, and a two-third majority would be required for conviction. A conviction on impeachment would result in removal from office and disqualification to ever hold state office again.
No criminal penalty would come with the conviction, Connelly reported.
Watch 10TV News and refresh 10TV.com for continuing coverage.

Previous Stories:

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