AG#8217;s offer has no substance

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Embattled Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann said he would consider resigning from office Tuesday, but his effort was half-hearted.

In the middle of a scandal that included his admittance of an extra-martial affair with an office employee, Dann has been asked by legislative leaders to step down from office. He admitted the affair was part of an unprofessional atmosphere that led to sexual harassment claims against a top aide.

As part of his proposal for his resignation, Dann said lawmakers must delay an investigation into his office. They refused and Dann is still in office.

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His own party put together nine articles of impeachment, some of which accuse Dann of obstructing the investigation. The resolution also accuses Dann of making misleading statements while under oath.

To say the least, it doesn’t appear like Dann has a lot of leverage.

To try to go out gracefully is not realistic at this point.

Maggie Ostrowski, a spokesman for Senate President Bill Harris, made a predictable comment to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“Senator Harris was not willing to cut a deal,” she said.

Of course not. With Ohio playing a key role in the presidential race in November, the impact on the Democratic Party because of the scandal and Dann’s refusal to resign is uncertain. What is also uncertain is the extent of wrongdoing that was taking place inside the attorney general’s office.

The impeachment process is ripe with politics. Democrats want to appear like they’re cleaning their own house. Republicans could stand to regain the post and perhaps use the scandal as a tool for the presidential race.

In a perfect world, both parties would go through the process in a forthright manner and politicize the issue as little as possible. That is about as realistic as Dann being able to leave office on his own terms.