COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland threw his support behind state Treasurer Richard Cordray Wednesday, endorsing the Democrat for this November's Attorney General election.

Strickland, who recently appointed Nancy Hardin Rogers to the post after helping to force disgraced Democrat Marc Dann's resignation, said Cordray is a "remarkable person."

"He is fair. He is kind. And he is a tenacious problem solver," Strickland added, according to a report by The Associated Press. "He will be the kind of Attorney General that Ohioans can be proud of."

Cordray is a 49-year-old who has argued six cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He has also served in the state's House of Representative and as state Solicitor.

He graduated from Michigan State University's James Madison College before earning a master's degree in economics from Oxford and a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School.

In addition to his legal and political accomplishments, he was a five-time champion on the game show Jeopardy! and carried the Olympic flame in 1996.

He failed in his bids to become Attorney General in 1998 and a U.S. Senator in 2000.

Strickland led a group of Democrats who wanted Dann to resign in early May, threatening him with impeachment after Dann admitted to an 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

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