AUGUST 25, 2009
A top aide to an attorney general who resigned amid a sex scandal has pleaded guilty to a pair of felonies and four misdemeanors for illegally using state property and violating sexual harassment policies.
The corrupt public servant wielded tremendous power in the office of disgraced Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann, whose political career was destroyed last year after an extramarital affair with a young secretary in his office was exposed during a massive sexual harassment scandal involving three of his top aides.
One of the aides was Dann’s general services director, Anthony Gutierrez, who this week admitted using state computers, vehicles and employees to run his private construction business. He also used the attorney general’s campaign account to subsidize his living expenses. As part of the plea deal, prosecutors dropped four charges against Gutierrez and he must cooperate with an investigation into Dann’s short-lived administration.
As the official elected to uphold the state’s laws and Constitution, Dann committed perjury to hide the affair with his secretary and he hired three buddies to senior positions in his office. The four of them rented a Columbus suburb townhouse that was known as a sort of party fraternity pad where the Democrat attorney general rendezvoused with his young mistress.
So far Dann has escaped justice, instead getting off with a mere election-law violation by reaching a deal with the state’s inspector general to pay a $1,000 fine. The Ohio Ethics Commission claims to be investigating whether the former attorney general authorized improper expenditures from his campaign accounts and several of former aides, including his chief of staff and security chief.
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