Last month, things got really weird in the Ohio Attorney General’s office after Marc Dann’s scheduler, Jessica Utovich, was rumored to be hanging out at her boss’ apartment in her pajamas.
At first, it seemed much ado about nothing – a longtime friend and employee wearing sweatpants over to her boss’s place for some last minute scheduling issues? What’s so wrong with that? The public seemed more concerned over exactly what type of pajamas she was wearing – and the fact that a person over the age of 8 was wearing pajamas at all…
But things got really fishy when two more Dann aides came forward and accused his general services administrator, Anthony Gutierrez, of sexual harassment. The girls claimed that Gutierrez got them stinking drunk, dragged them back to his apartment (which he shared with Dann), and tried to get barenaked with them. A series of drunken text messages from one woman made for damning evidence.
It didn’t help that Dann – the lone prince of government transparency in Ohio – was keeping his mouth shut and refusing to turn over thousands of emails between himself and Utovich.
But after a few weeks of prodding from the press, Dann finally handed over the damning files. They made his office seem like a mid-level sorority at an off-brand state school.
Figuring he couldn’t talk his way out of this one, Dann took to the podium today and apologized. He admitted to having an affair with one of his workers, though he wouldn’t name names. Today, Utovich also announced that she was resigning. “I’m embarrassed,” Dann said. “I take responsibility for what I’ve done.”
Dann also announced that Gutierrez had been fired for making unwanted come-ons to the two 26-year-old aides. He also canned his communication’s chief, Leo Jennings, after Jennings tried to convince the girls to lie to investigators about the scandal. All three men shared a Columbus apartment – the site of all the controversy.
Still, Dann has no interest in resigning. “I was elected by the people of Ohio,” he said. “We're doing great legal work in this office. There is nobody who has raised a single concern about the delivery of services from this office.”
You can view the entire press conference
here. – Denise Grollmus