Bill would allow Ohio inspector general to investigate Dann

Chris Rizo May 13, 2008, 1:00am

Marc Dann

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline)- Legislation that would allow the Ohio inspector general to investigate state Attorney General Marc Dann is winding its way through the Legislature.

Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, who has urged Dann to resign, could have Senate Bill 3 on his desk by Wednesday.

The Senate-approved bill, which moves to the House on Tuesday, would authorize the inspector general's office to look into the attorney general's office. Under current law, the inspector general is restricted to probing state agencies and the governor's office.

Inspector General Thomas Charles would likely focus on the sexual harassment allegations and how they were handled in the attorney general's office that led to four people losing their jobs.

Meanwhile, the FBI has been asked to investigate Dann's ties with gambling interests, the Columbus Dispatch reported Tuesday.

Dann spokesman Ted Hart initially said Sunday that he was unaware of an FBI probe. However, Hart then talked to Dann, who told him he knew the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission had initiated an investigation.

Authorities are interested in knowing whether Dann promised gambling interests that he would be more lenient with them than his predecessor Republican Attorney General Jim Petro was if he were elected.

Dann, who was elected in 2006, has refused to step down.

"I don't think there is any chance I would step down," Dann told WKYC-TV of Cleveland on Friday, a day before the Democratic Party of Ohio stripped Dann of their endorsement.

Democratic Party leaders, in addition to Strickland, 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 said.

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