The Democrat attorney general in Ohio is in boiling hot water with his own people over a messy sexual harassment scandal that’s tearing the party apart. The Democrat Party has filed nine articles of impeachment today against the AG, who has refused to step down. The drama is unfolding fast this afternoon:
When Ohio’s democratic leaders said they were none-too-happy with AG Marc Dann, they weren’t kiddin.
Just in, from the Business Courier of Cincinnati: Democrats in the Ohio House of Representatives have filed nine articles of impeachment against Dann, many of which reportedly point to alleged instances of neglect that legislators identified in Dann’s sworn testimony during an investigation into sexual harassment allegations involving former Dann staffers.
Anthony Gutierrez, Dann’s general services director and the subject of the harassment probe, was fired along with spokesman Leo Jennings. Ed Simpson, the office’s chief of policy and administration, resigned rather than being fired after the report found he didn’t properly investigate the harassment allegations.
More on the impeachment counts from the Columbus Dispatch (hat tip – reader Tom):
House Democrats filed articles of impeachment this morning against Attorney General Marc Dann, charging him with nine counts relating to a sexual harassment scandal that has led to widespread calls for him to resign.
The articles, sponsored by 42 of 45 House Democrats, contend that Dann warrants impeachment for “misconduct in office rising to the level of malfeasance, neglect, nonfeasance, gross neglect of duty, improper exercise of authority and gross immorality.”
The nine counts allege that Dann:
» Obstructed the internal investigation into allegations of sexual harassment in his office.
» Willfully and intentionally issued misleading statements under oath.
» Neglected to perform the duties of his office and by his own admission was not competent or qualified for the job.
» Knew or should have known that his own admitted sexual affair with an employee contributed to and allowed a hostile work environment.
» Failed to ensure the safety and security of state property.
» Failed to investigate and prohibit improper use of state property.
» Knew or should have known of the misuse of state property for personal business.
» Committed acts of gross neglect of duty by undermining the integrity of his office; bringing disrepute upon the office; betraying the public trust as Ohio’s chief law enforcement officer; and undermining the effectiveness and efficiency of the office.
» Committed acts of gross immorality and knew or should have known that his personal conduct undermined the effectiveness and efficiency of the office.
Dann’s spokesman, Jason Stanford, issued a one-sentence response:
“The attorney general has said that he does not believe there are grounds for impeachment, and he will continue to do the job that he was elected to do.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer says Dann is expected to resign.
He’s reportedly negotiating his exit:
Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann apparently is trying to negotiate the terms of his resignation, offering to quit in exchange for legislative leaders killing a bill that would authorize Inspector General Thomas P. Charles to investigate the scandal in Dann’s office.
Sources said Dann told a number of legislators that an investigation by Charles “would cause all sorts of problems” for him and he offered to leave office if the bill is scotched.
Stay tuned for more on the stand-off.
Update: FBI asked to investigate.
Update: Commenter Tom Blogical:
The funniest thing about this entire situation is Ohio Democrats like Dann ran against former Ohio Gov. Bob Taft (who wasn’t running–and couldn’t–for re-election) and the “culture of corruption”. The old “guilt by association” ploy.
Ohio Democrats are taking Dann out so they won’t be dragged down with him in the next election cycle. Irony at it’s finest.