Dann vows not to resign

Chris Rizo May 9, 2008, 3:00pm

Marc Dann

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline)-Embattled Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann vowed Friday not to resign, as many of his Democratic colleges have urged him to do.

Dann, a 46-year-old Democrat, said he did not commit an impeachable offense when he had an extra-marital affair with a subordinate, as he revealed last week.

The same day as his admission Dann was criticized in a 57-page internal report for encouraging an atmosphere that led to sexual harassment claims in his office.

"I don't think there is any chance I would step down," Dann told WKYC-TV of Cleveland on Friday.

As for the possibility that state lawmakers will bring impeachment hearings against him, Dann said he believes in the rule of law.

"I will be sure the rule of law is followed both as Attorney General and a citizen of the state of Ohio," Dann said.

The attorney general said for now he is committed to serving as the state's top attorney and has important legal work to do on behalf of Ohioans.

Dann said among his current priorities are security fraud cases being brought on behalf of state pension funds and the subprime mortgage crisis, which he said has "decimated neighborhoods" in Buckeye State.

"These are the kinds of things I was elected to do for the people of Ohio," Dann was quoted as saying, "and I am going to continue this work."

The 57-page internal report that substantiated allegations of sexual harassment against Dann aide and friend Anthony Gutierrez, found that leadership in the attorney general's office was lacking.

"Management employees encouraged and tolerated a workplace atmosphere of frequent profanity, extremely casual and improper personal interactions with subordinates and a general lack of professionalism and respect," the report said.

Among those who have called for Dann's resignation are Democrats Gov. Ted Strickland, Lt. Governor Lee Fisher, Treasurer Richard Cordray, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, Senate Minority Leader Ray Miller, House Minority Leader Joyce Beatty and Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern.

"Sadly, we no longer have even the most remote hope that you can continue to effectively serve as Attorney General and that is why we are asking for your resignation," read a letter signed by the top Democrats.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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