When he was elected state attorney general, Marc Dann had an opportunity to make the Mahoning Valley proud. He failed — spectacularly and on multiple levels, in some ways even before he took office.
At the end of the most grueling day of his short tenure — and after a press conference that was almost as painful for those who watched as it was for Dann — he came home. In a meeting with Vindicator editors, he said he had already begun to put his private life back together and to rebuild his public office.
The question is whether Dann deserves a second chance to be the attorney general he promised to be during and after his 2006 campaign.
It would be easy to say no, made easier by Dann’s admission that even he didn’t expect to win the statewide race and, having won, realized he wasn’t prepared to manage the largest law firm in Ohio.
We endorsed Dann two years ago, not on his management skills, real or imagined, but primarily on the basis of his picking up the ball in the case of Toledo coin dealer Tom Noe’s corrupt management of $50 million in state money. We were unimpressed with the answers his opponent, Betty Montgomery, gave when she was asked about why it took a rookie state senator from northeastern Ohio (Dann) to keep the Noe probe moving.
When we endorsed Dann, we fully expected to spend four uncomfortable years dealing with Montgomery as attorney general. The second-last thing we expected was for Dann to win. The last thing was that he would win and after a little more than a year in office embarrass himself, his family and the Valley, disappoint his supporters and provide opponents who loathed him for his role in Coingate such an easy target.
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