Ohio AG Admits to Affair, Fires Two Aides Tied to Sex Harassment Probe
Posted May 5, 2008 9:59 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The former Democratic chairman of Ohio is calling for the resignation of Attorney General Marc Dann following a sexual harassment scandal in his office.
James Ruvolo told the Dayton Daily News that Democrats “can’t stand by and hem and haw" about the scandal. “We [Democrats] came into office because of the excesses of the Republicans, and now we’ve got someone who’s unfit for that office,” he said.
On Friday, Dann announced that he is firing general service director Anthony Gutierrez because of the sexual harassment allegations, the Associated Press reports. He is also firing former communications chief Leo Jennings for allegedly interfering with the harassment investigation. Two other aides have resigned, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Dann also admitted in the Friday press conference that he had a consensual affair with an employee. "I did not create an atmosphere in my public and personal life that is consistent with the important mission of the office of attorney general," Dann said. "I am heartbroken by my failure to recognize the problems being created and by my failure to stop them."
The internal investigation of sexual harassment concluded that Dann allowed a hostile work environment in his office and that Gutierrez also created a hostile work environment, the Cincinnati Enquirer story says.
One staffer accused Gutierrez of improper conduct during an alcohol-fueled encounter at the apartment Dann shared with Gutierrez and Jennings.
Critics have labeled Dann’s office “Dannimal House.” Ohio GOP deputy chairman Kevin DeWine has also asked Dann to resign, saying he turned the attorney general's office into a "raunchy frat pad," the AP story says.