Ohio AG DeWine Says Sexual Harassment Allegation Thoroughly Investigated

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UPDATED: Thursday September 4, 2014 6:26 PM

With 58 days to go until the election, Democrats are trying to keep the heat on attorney general Mike DeWine regarding a sexual harassment complaint that was made in his office but DeWine says the matter has already been thoroughly investigated.

“We know that Mike DeWine interfered in this investigation into the incident,” said Kathy DiCristofaro, chair of the Ohio Democratic Women's Caucus.  "He demanded to know the identity of a confidential informant.  Ohioans deserve an independent review of every detail of this case.”

Democrats submitted petitions to DeWine's office asking that he appoint a special investigator to look at the case.

But DeWine says his office did everything it could and that two investigations were already complete when he requested the name of a whistleblower who had claimed a young woman was a victim of sexual harassment while working as a paid intern in his office.

"I not only have a legal obligation to check out what's going on but I have a moral obligation to every person who walks in the door and works here," DeWine told 10TV.   "So I asked for the name of the confidential informant.  She told me.  I talked to the confidential informant and just like our investigator I came up with no more information that I could do anything with."

The young woman later recanted under oath the story of sexual contact as a minor when meeting with Franklin County prosecutor Ron O'Brien.

"I felt quite bluntly that I had to leave no stone unturned," said DeWine.  "I had to do everything I could within my power to find out if this had occurred, and if it did occur, who did it."

Ohio Democrats have accused DeWine of interfering in the investigation and that he should have never sought the whistleblowers name.

"While a boss has the right to know what's going on, the boss meeting separately with the witness would send up red flags about possible intimidation by the witness by the boss," said Chris Redfern, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party.  "There has to be a process, especially a paid intern in her younger 20s, to navigate without fear of intimidation and that goes with any department, especially in public life."

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