COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) — He resigned in disgrace over a month ago, but former Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann continues to make headlines.
Two more female employees of the Ohio AG’s office have leveled several allegations against him stemming from his 17-month tenure in office which ended in his resignation May 14. They join Ohio AG employees Cindy Stankoski and Vanessa Stout, who recently filed sexual harassment complaints against Dann and two underlings. Those allegations were substantiated by an inter-office investigation released to the public May 2.
Jennifer Urban, an attorney with the AG’s office since June 2005, and Molly Taylor, a longtime AG employee, raised their individual, yet overlapping claims in recent days. Because Urban’s allegations include potential sexual harassment claims against Anthony Gutierrez and Leo Jennings III, who were Dann’s general services chief and communications director, respectively, until they were fired for their misconduct May 2, the AG’s office has requested another Ohio agency investigate her claims.
However, according to AG spokesman Ted Hart, late Wednesday afternoon, the Ohio Department of Administrative Services expressed reluctance to enter into the fray.
“I think they’re afraid of setting a precedent,” said Hart.
At a June 4 meeting with Stephanie Bostos Demers, the AG’s Director of Human Resources, Urban detailed her allegations. In a letter from Bostos Demers to Urban, dated June 18, the HR head wrote that because the office had been officially placed on notice of potential EEO policy violations, AG policy dictated that an investigation be undertaken.
Moreover, the letter revealed that during that June 4 meeting, Urban expressed “concerns about the current administration.” It also noted Urban’s concerns about her caseload and desire for a promotion.
According to Hart, Urban has yet to personally request an investigation into her claims.
The other complainant, who is resigning from the AG’s office effective June 30, sent a letter to Ohio AG Nancy H. Rogers on June 23 titled, “Before I go.” The June communications between Urban, Taylor and other AG staffers were obtained by Legalnewsline following a public records request. In her letter, Taylor told of how she once had been proud of working at the AG’s office but when Marc Dann’s tenure began, the environment instantly became hostile, crude and unprofessional. She described an environment where vulgar language and “inappropriate and unprofessional behavior rapidly became the norm.”
Taylor wrote she changed departments within the AG’s office several times during Dann’s tenure in the hopes of settling somewhere where her colleagues were pleasant and congenial. What she found instead, however, was just the opposite. Rather than face another transition when a new Attorney General is elected in November to fill the remaining two years of Dann’s term, Taylor decided to leave the office altogether.
Before she leaves, however, Taylor had a few requests of the woman appointed by Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland on May 21 to fill the AG post until the November elections. Taylor asked Nancy H. Rogers to provide a letter of recommendation and have 504 hours of leave restored to her bank of time to be paid to Taylor in her last paycheck. She claimed to have used those hours as a reprieve from the stressful work environment prevalent during Dann’s tenure.
In an e-mail response by Rogers to Taylor on June 24, the AG reported she referred Taylor’s requests to Paula Paoletti, the Ohio AG’s Acting Chief of Policy and Administration. Paoletti took over that position May 2 when Gutierrez and Jennings were fired, Hart said.