Democrats Call For Dann To Leave Office


UPDATED: Wednesday August 27, 2008 11:20 AM

Members of both parties called for Attorney General Marc Dann to resign following his admission of an affair with an office employee, and a sexual harassment investigation that ousted three of his top aides.

On Sunday, Democrat Mary Jo Kilory said sexual harassment can not be tolerated.

"As a mother of two daughters of about the same age as those in the press accounts, I am appalled that those in power would abuse their authority in such a shameful way," Kilory said. "Marc Dann should resign and he should do so quickly."

Newspapers across the state also called for his resignation. 

An editorial in the Columbus Dispatch said Dann "disgraced himself and his department, operating an office where the atmosphere was, in his words, 'embarrassingly undignified.'"

FROM THE DISPATCH: Read The Editorial

Typically coveted in political campaigns, newspaper editorial board endorsements carry political weight, 10TV's John Fortney reported.
 
The Canton Repository said Dann should go, while the Warren Tribune Chronicle said Dann should resign his position.

 
In southwest Ohio, the Cincinnati Enquirer said Dann was a disgrace and should go, while the Dayton Daily News said Friday's events had to be the end for Marc Dann, Fortney reported.
 
The calls for Dann's resignation came a day after Anthony Gutierrez, general services director, and Leo Jennings III, director of communications, were both terminated as a result of the internal investigation.

 
Ed Simpson, who served as chief of policy and administration, offered his resignation on Thursday night.
 
The findings against the aides came after a month of turmoil and speculation at the office of Ohio's top law enforcer after harassment allegations by the two women were made public.
 
Last month, Cindy Stankoski and Vanessa Stout filed formal complaints against Gutierrez, claiming that he pressured them to have sex with him and made several sexually charged comments.
 
The women said at least one of the instances occurred at a Dublin condo that Dann, Gutierrez and Jennings shared.
 
The investigation said Dann showed poor judgment in having Stankoski over to the apartment for drinks and pizza, and said arrangements should have been made to take her home when it was apparent she was intoxicated.
 
The investigation also found that Gutierrez created a hostile work environment and violated the office's sexual harassment policy in his treatment of two women he supervised. 
 
Jennings 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.
 
Shortly after his office announced the termination and resignation of his aides, Dann admitted that he had a romantic relationship with an employee. While he apologized for the affair and accepted blame for the sexual harassment investigation, Dann said he had no plans to resign from office.
 
Ohio's Republican Party on Friday called for Dann, a Democrat, to resign from office. Ohio GOP deputy chairman Kevin DeWine called for Dann's resignation, saying he turned the attorney general's office into a "raunchy frat pad."
     
Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland said the investigation showed a "double standard" with Dann staying while some employees were let go.
 
"I would say extreme disappointment," Strickland said. "Some anger, but disappointment," Strickland said.
 
The governor also told 10TV News that citizens of Ohio would have greater confidence if the attorney general's office underwent an outside investigation, 10TV's John Fortney reported.
 
In a statement, Sen. Tim Grendell, R-Chesterland, said he was "deeply disappointed in Marc Dann" who had "made a career out of loudly demanding that public officials in Ohio uphold the highest ethical standards, and yet has failed to hold himself accountable."
 
Grendell wrote, "How can we ask him to defend our State and its people, when the actions of he and his office are indefensible?"
 
Sen. David Goodman, R-Columbus, also called for Dann's resignation in a letter he complied Friday.
 
Republican strategist Terry Casey told 10TV News said the negative publicity found in the state's newspapers would increase pressure on Dann.
 
"So if you don't have any friends supporting you in the newspaper, the governor and the party chair don't want to be out front defending the guy," Casey said.
 
According to Casey, the quick strikes by the papers were unlike anything he has ever seen.
 
"It's the cumulative effect," Casey said. "We've already got six major newspapers, including his hometown newspaper … not only saying he must resign, but they apologized to their readers for endorsing him in the first place."
 
"That is unprecedented. I've never seen anything like that in my life," Casey said.
 
Casey says it was not just the editorial boards, but the political cartoons that add insult to political injury.
 
"One of the things we've learned in national politics: when they're laughing at you, that's when it's worse," Casey said. 

Previous Stories:

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