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Suspend Dann’s license 6 months, state panel urges



Published: Tue, December 6, 2011 @ 12:05 a.m.

By David Skolnick

skolnick@vindy.com

COLUMBUS

A state disciplinary board is recommending a six-month suspension of former Attorney General Marc Dann’s law license.

The recommendation, filed Monday by the Ohio Supreme Court’s 28-member board of commissioners on grievances and discipline, said the suspension is warranted as its members “cannot help but wonder at the harm to the reputation of the legal profession and to the confidence of the public in the office of the attorney general when the chief law officer in the state has committed ethical errors and tries to explain them away as [Dann] has.”

The final decision on Dann’s law- license suspension rests with the Ohio Supreme Court.

It isn’t known when the court will act on the board’s recommendation, said Bret Crow, a court spokesman.

“It varies,” he said of the amount of time for a decision. “It could be a long drawn-out process with other cases in the pipeline. Parties objecting or filing oral arguments could make the process more lengthy.”

The court could choose to accept, increase, decrease or dismiss the board’s recommendation or ask for another hearing, he said.

Dann, a Democrat from Liberty, was found guilty in May 2010 of two misdemeanor-ethics violations, making the attorney subject to sanctions from the state Supreme Court.

Dann and the Ohio Supreme Court’s disciplinary counsel had signed a tentative agreement Oct. 23 for a six-month stayed suspension, meaning he could still practice law during the suspension.

But the counsel recommended a 12-month stayed suspension after a Nov. 3 hearing in front of three members of the state disciplinary board after saying that Dann tried to minimize what he did.

The disciplinary board, however, is calling for Dann to serve an actual suspension without a stay, according to a 10-page recommendation written by Richard A. Dove, its secretary. Dann now has a law office in Cleveland.

Dann’s “position as the attorney general of Ohio sets him apart from other lawyers,” Dove wrote. “In the least, [Dann’s] explanations for his conduct speak poorly to his judgment. Poor judgment is not an aggravating factor. However, whether or not his explanations were sensible or credible, they are not an excuse.”

Alvin Mathews, Dann’s attorney, said: “Obviously, we are disappointed and we’ll access our options as to whether we will object. We’re disappointed the recommendation is more severe than that recommended by the disciplinary counsel.”

When asked if Dann should be held to a higher standard because he’s a former attorney general, Mathews said, “That’s the point they made [in the decision]. We have to consider whether to object or concede that point. It’s up to Mr. Dann.”

A Franklin County judge convicted Dann in May 2010 of filing a false financial disclosure form and providing improper compensation to state employees from his campaign and transaction accounts.

At the Nov. 3 hearing, Dann’s “explanations for his missteps revolve around his self-described hubris and arrogance,” Dove wrote.

Dann resigned as attorney general in May 2008, about 16 months into a four-year term, after a critical internal-office investigation determined he ran an unprofessional operation filled with cronyism. That led to multiple investigations and convictions for Dann, three of his former high-level staffers and his then-wife, who divorced him in July 2010.

The Supreme Court gave Dann a public reprimand in March 2004 for filing the wrong pleading in a divorce case regarding spousal support in Mahoning County. Both sides agreed the reprimand was an “aggravating factor” in recommending Dann’s suspension, Dove wrote.


Comments

1db(280 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Marc Dann should have his law license permanently revoked. This minor slap on the hand shows how low the legal community has sunk.

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2avenuegirl(4 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

This is so stupid. Enough is enough! Leave the guy alone. He has completely complied with EVERYTHING that they asked of him. Let him move on with his life. Why not go after the jerk lawyers who cheat their clients out of money, do drugs, steal, etc. We got plenty of those right HERE in the Mahoning Valley. This is a politcal machine that just won't stop. You try practicing law everyday with clients who are such a pain in the a!!, who don't want to pay you for helping them and are ungrateful. Mahoning Valley needs to wake up and move on with the AG Stuff. I was there, I know what truly happened and the media has totally skewed the entire situation. Why aren't you people mad at Tony Guiterrez or Leo Jennings? Why didn't anything else happen to them? What did Cordray pay those girls money when no sexual harassment took place? Why aren't people mad about that? Read the transcripts and get the facts. Stop beating a dead horse and leave Marc Dann alone. He has moved on with his life in a very positive way which I am sure hasn't been easy b/c of the negative attitude of this Valley and the press. GO MARC! You have my full support 100%.

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3Askmeificare(694 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

@ db and @ avenuegirl:

@ db:

You are so right on.

@ avenuegirl:

You have no idea what you are talking about.

"Stop beating a dead horse and leave Marc Dann alone. He has moved on with his life in a very positive way which I am sure hasn't been easy b/c of the negative attitude of this Valley and the press."

So we should leave marc "sell the office" Dann alone because we are being mean. His low I.Q. feelings have been hurt?

Well then, since you are willing to "man up" for marc, would you please donate your personal money (in the millions), goodwill, and time BACK to the taxpayers for services and trust (and more) NOT RENDERED for the taxpayer.

That way we can spare marc danns' feelings and still have personal responsibility served and displayed for our youth so they do not get led down an unethical and immoral path of life.

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4avenuegirl(4 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

@askmeifIcare,

You aren't the one who has a clue what you are talking about. I know a hell of a lot more than you as I was right there and have personal knowledge.

Everyone needs to get over this and move forward. It's done and over. There is absolutely NO reason to suspend someone's license. That is a very serious matter and it's his livelihood.

Oh and I have donated personal funds and time to work with him over the years. He has paid back everything they asked him to pay. Many other politicians have done worse. As for trust, only a fool trusts a politician.

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5Askmeificare(694 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

@ avenuegirl:

"As for trust, only a fool trusts a politician."

"Oh and I have donated personal funds and time to work with him over the years."

Oh naive avenue girl- You have proven an excellent point. YOU fool.

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6Silence_Dogood(1319 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

You know you are screwed when someone that is sleeping with an ex-sheriff and a convicted felon comes to your defense.

Suggest removal:

7avenuegirl(4 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

@silence - you make no sense. Your post doesn't apply one bit.

Suggest removal:


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