On March 19, disgraced former Attorney General Marc Dann was fined $1,000 by the Ohio Elections Commission for using campaign money to rig a security system for his home and reprimanded for using those funds to pay his family's cell-phone bills. Afterward, a smug Dann again denied he did anything wrong, suggesting the commission agreed because "they didn't refer it for criminal prosecution."
Not so fast, mister. Scene has learned that former Dann minion/director of general services Anthony Gutierrez met with Franklin County prosecutors last week, in what one source says were negotiations to testify against Dann in exchange for a lighter sentence. Indictments are expected as soon as April.
On the record, Franklin County prosecutor Ron O'Brien had this message for Scene: "Since it is an ongoing investigation, we have no comment at this time. We will be sure to notify you and other media organizations when we have something to announce."
Note to Dann: Maybe it wasn't such a smart idea to sue the guy who knew all your secrets. Just saying. — James Renner
MCFAUL FROM GRACE
Still no word on whether Sheriff-for-Life Gerald McFaul will hang up his hat in the wake of a slew of stories about his mottled decision-making process. Maybe he's worried about appearances now that a special prosecutor is poking around, looking into a taped conversation from the '80s showing McFaul schooling an ex-staffer on how to avoid testifying against him in a sexual harassment case. That's what longtime friend, County Commissioner Tim Hagan, surmised after last week's commissioners meeting: "Because of his health ... he's going to retire, but anybody in their right mind won't retire when a special prosecutor is investigating a possible criminal offense." Nobody said McFaul is in his right mind, though. "If they come forward and charge him with, say, a misdemeanor," mused Hagan, "he may willingly announce his date of retirement." — Dan Harkins
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DEATH SQUADS ARE SO '80s
Congressman Dennis Kucinich has really put his nose in a hornet's nest this time. Kucinich sent a letter last week to the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, asking for a probe of an alleged "executive assassination ring" under ex-President Bush. Journalist Seymour Hersh, who's slated to finish his book on the subject in a year or more, told attendees at the University of Minnesota on March 10 that "they've been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving." Who did they claim this special wing of the special-ops community reported to? According to Hersh: Vice President Cheney. Who's at the top of their list now? Little Big Man. — Harkins