Dann kicked out of Democratic Party

Chris Rizo May 10, 2008, 3:00pm

Marc Dann

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline)- Embattled Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann on Saturday was stripped of his endorsement by the Ohio Democratic Party amid a sexual harassment scandal in his office.

The party decided to rescind its endorsement after little discussion.

Just one member of the 150-member committee voiced a no vote, and no one spoke in defense of the attorney general.

The approved resolution says the state Democratic Party "no longer recognizes Marc Dann as an endorsed Democratic statewide officeholder."

The 46-year-old attorney general, elected 2006, did not attend the executive committee meeting.

Party leaders, including Gov. Ted Strickland and U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, have been pressing Dann to resign amid his admission that he had an affair with a subordinate, and an internal investigation that indicated that under Dann's leadership the attorney general's office had an atmosphere that encouraged unprofessional behavior.

"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," a 57-page internal report released this month said.

For his part, Dann has refused to step down, saying he has not committed an impeachable offense.

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

Meanwhile, state lawmakers are considering impeachment proceedings against Dann.

"One of Marc's strengths a year-and-a-half ago was his stubbornness," said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern after the vote. "Now it becomes increasingly evident that it's a weakness."

On Friday, House Speaker Jon Husted, R-Kettering, and Senate President Bill Harris, R-Ashland, agreed to pass legislation authorizing Ohio's inspector general to investigate the attorney general's office.

"It has become clear to us over the course of the last week that a comprehensive, independent investigation is necessary," Harris and Husted said in a joint statement.

"We believe Inspector General Tom Charles has the ability and infrastructure to properly and thoroughly conduct this investigation," they added.

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

More News