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« Stirfry

A fallen hero?

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)


Published March 11, 2008

Last May, the New York Times published a story about Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann and contended that he could well succeed Eliot Spitzer of New York as the most aggressive state AG. But the Times also reported that when Dann was asked whether he was trying to emulate Spitzer, who was known as the "Sheriff of Wall Street," the Liberty Township resident dodged the question. The newspaper used the word "demurs" to describe the reaction.

Good thing he did — given that Spitzer, now governor of New York, has been caught with his pants down — so to speak. Spitzer, who earned a national reputation as a no-nonsense attorney general who took on Wall Street and mutual funds and the insurance industry, is accused of being a client of a high-price prostitution ring that operated in several cities in the United States and abroad.

In the New York Times story about Dann, four months after he was sworn in as Ohio's attorney general, the former state legislator did acknowledge that before Spitzer, there "certainly was a vacuum" among attorney generals in the country.

In comparing Dann with Spitzer, the Times pointed to his strong criticism of UnitedHealth Group, which was sued by shareholders because its former chief executive, William M. McGuire, allegedly backdated more than $2.3 billion in stock options before he left.

Like Spitzer, Dann, a Democrat, has become the target of state Republicans. Thus far, however, the attacks from the GOP have centered on his performance in office.  


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