Ohio's new AG won't appeal decision favoring workers

John O'Brien Jan. 16, 2007, 7:46pm


COLUMBUS, Ohio - New Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann says an Ohio court ruled properly in a case against the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation and will not appeal, possibly leading to increased injury benefits for workers hurt on jobs they obtained through welfare.

Dann announced his decision at his inaugural speech Jan. 8.

Dann, the first Democrat elected attorney general since 1990, had previously made headlines by criticizing a scandal at the Bureau of Workers' Compensation's decision to invest $50 million in rare coins.

At his inaugural speech, Dann said, "The corruption at the Bureau of Workers' Compensation symbolized by the decision to invest $50 million in rare coins was but one glaring example of a government gone wrong."

The Industrial Commission was also a defendant in the suit against the Bureau of Workers' Compensation, and Dann said the 10th District Court of Appeals ruled properly.

Those who got their jobs through welfare and their family members, it is alleged, were not receiving proper compensation in violation of a 1996 state Supreme Court ruling.

The attorney general's office had the duty of defending the state agencies in the lawsuit, which was brought on by the Equal Justice Foundation in 2004 on behalf of a class of individuals, namely William Beck and Bruce Smith.

The ruling was handed down Dec. 19.

The 1996 Supreme Court decision "is not limited solely to dependents of work-relief employees, but also includes work-relief employees themselves,'' appeals Judge Susan Brown wrote for the unanimous three-judge decision, according to a report by The Associated Press.

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