Dann reaches settlement with state over campaign finance violations

Chris Rizo Jun. 11, 2009, 11:40am

Marc Dann (D)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline)-Former disgraced Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann and the state's watchdog reached a settlement Thursday over charges the Democrat misused campaign funds.

Under the agreement with the state inspector general, Dann's campaign will admit to using campaign dollars to pay for travel for himself and his family, in violation of state law.

In return, the state will acknowledge that Dann has returned some of the money and didn't intentionally break campaign finance laws. Dann reimbursed his campaign committee $2,043 in June of last year, after questions emerged about a trip to San Francisco that was paid for with Dann's campaign funds.

State Inspector General Tom Charles filed a complaint with the Elections Commission in December, accusing Dann of, among other things, paying for food for himself, and travel and cell phone expenses for his wife and two children out of his campaign coffers.

Charles said he found at least two dozen acts of wrongdoing by Dann, a Democrat, during his 17 months in office.

"Regrettably, Marc Dan used his position as attorney general to indulge himself, his family and his friends. By tapping these easily available contributions, which were given to him by more-than-willing interested outside parties, he supplemented his statutory wage from the state of Ohio and used the money to pay personal expenses that had no relation to his office or his campaign," the inspector general's report said in December.

Dann resigned last May, after admitting to having an affair with a staffer and amid complaints he fostered an unprofessional working environment at the attorney general's office. Since leaving office, he has opened a law practice in Cleveland.

Following Dann's resignation, Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland appointed Nancy Rogers to fill the post until January. State Treasurer Richard Cordray, a Democrat, won the Nov. 4 election for attorney general.

From Legal Newsline: Reach staff reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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