Ohio AG resigns amid sex scandal

By Chris Rizo | May 14, 2008

Marc Dann

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline)-Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann, facing the possibility of impeachment, announced Wednesday he is resigning.

Dann, 46, resigned under amid pressure from fellow Democrats, who questioned his leadership after he admitted to having an affair with a subordinate and a report that criticized his management of the office.

"Unfortunately, the last step I must take as attorney general to resolve these problems is to resign as attorney general," Dann said with Gov. Ted Strickland by his side.

"It is my belief that this will preserve the great work being done by the office of Attorney General," said Dann, who faced impeachment charges brought by House Democrats this week.

Dann "has come to realize the seriousness of the situation" as he and other Democratic leaders had called on Dann to resign, Strickland said.

"This was not the failings of a party," Strickland told a news conference. "I think the party responded strongly and forcefully to clean our own house."

Strickland added that the scandal's political fallout for Democrats will be minimal.

"I have no reason to believe there will be political repercussions," he said. "I think there could have been or there would have been, if we ignored the circumstances that lead to this resignation but we did not."

As for the next attorney general, Strickland said he is looking for maturity, experience and management skills.

"We need someone who can provide confidence to the many, many employees of the attorney general's office," he told reporters.

First Assistant Attorney General Tom Winters will serve as the acting attorney general. Strickland will eventually name a successor to Dann.

"It is a sad day, but I am confident in the knowledge that you-the more than 1,400 dedicated public servants of this office-will continue to do your jobs in the Office of the Attorney General," Winters said in a statement to AGO employees.

"Collectively, you span the terms of seven attorneys general. You enjoy a nationwide reputation as aggressive and professional advocates for the people of Ohio," he added.

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

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