Ohio has third AG in a month

John O'Brien May 28, 2008, 10:48am


COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland decided Wednesday to appoint the dean of Ohio State University's law school as the state's acting Attorney General.

Nancy Hardin Rogers has been the Moritz College of Law's dean since 2001 and has taught at Ohio State for more than 30 years. She holds a law degree from Yale University and worked for the Cleveland Legal Aid Society prior to her teaching days.

Former Attorney General Marc Dann, a Democrat, recently resigned after admitting to an affair with a staff member, and Rogers will replace interim Attorney General Tom Winters.

"It's a shame that the actions of limited number of persons who didn't live up to these values have undermined public confidence in this office," Rogers said, according to a report in the Columbus Dispatch.

"The situation must be turned around quickly. Gov. Strickland has honored me with his confidence."

A permanent Attorney General will be picked by voters in November's election. The state's Republican party recently began its search for a candidate.

Strickland led a group of Democrats who wanted Dann to resign, threatening him with impeachment.

Dann admitted to the affair May 1 while releasing a 57-page report substantiating allegations of sexual harassment against Dann aide and friend Anthony Gutierrez.

The report found that, "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."

Gutierrez and the attorney general's communications director, Leo Jennings III, were fired for trying to coax an assistant attorney general to lie to investigators, while Dann's chief of staff, Edgar Simpson, was forced to resign.

Dann had the affair with Jessica Utovich, 28, who voluntarily resigned her position as his office's travel coordinator.

The report also found that Dann "exercised poor judgment by engaging in and permitting (employee) Cindy Stankoski to come to his home for drinks and pizza."

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien via e-mail at john@legalnewsline.com.

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