Dann Is Done:

Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann has finally resigned. Based on the early reports, it does not appear that he was able to strike any exit deal to ensure a soft landing or protect himself from prosecution. More here and here.

Until Governor Ted Strickland appoints a successor, First Assistant Attorney General Tom Winters will serve as AG. Here is Winters' memo to AG personnel.

UPDATE: Dann's resignation letter is here.

Lucius Cornelius:
I wonder if we will get to hear the details about what happened today.

What was Dann going to announce at noon?
Why was the noon press conference called off?
What happened between noon and the 4:45 pm announcement?
What caused the Highway Patrol to move in this morning to seize computers and other materials from the AG's office?

Inquiring minds want to know! As your fearless man on the spot, I will spare NO effort to find the answers. No stone will be left unturned. No doughnut will be left unconsumed. No adult beverage will be left undrunk. And if I can't find the answers to these questions, I will just make them up! On this you have my word.

Now, I will partake of that first adult beverage.
5.14.2008 8:00pm
Joe Bingham (mail):
"It is with a great deal of emotion that I..."

Too bad he couldn't have instead started with a great deal of rhetorical talent.
5.14.2008 8:04pm
Gaius Marius:
Marc Dann sounds an awful lot like Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy.
5.14.2008 9:31pm
Lucius Cornelius:
My immediate supervisor knows more about Dann than I do. He told me back in January 2007 that he did not believe that Dann would serve out his term in office. He said that Dann was too corrupt, too stupid, and too lacking in self control to stay out of trouble.

Now we have to see what the Inspector General's investigation turns up. I was suprised to see that Ben Espy was working at the AG's office. There are probably other senior Democrats in there holding high level jobs that allow them to draw a paycheck without doing any work. If the IG finds that this is the case, this could turn into a scandal that rocks the Democratic party in Ohio even more than Bob Taft's golf games rocked the Republican party.

For example, a year ago the wife of the Columbus Mayor was fired from a high level job at the Ohio Department of Development after it was discovered that she was submitting false time sheets. She was claiming that she was working full time when, in fact, she was coming in late, leaving early, and missing many days altogether. They filed criminal charges against her in the end.

One point that can be a problem will be the inability of the IG to offer immunity. This could hinder his ability to get people to testify. Of course, the moment someone asserts their 5th amendment rights then the case should be handed over to the Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien.
5.15.2008 6:57am
Ohio Lawyer:
I remember seeing the firsts posts on this, some commentators said that this incident showed that Democrats have no standards. The Democrats proved their critics wrong.

Instead of circling the wagons, every key Democrat worked hard to oust Dann. They unanimously urged him to resign and filed articles of impeachment to back up their rhetoric.

Every group has its problem members. The integrity test is how the group deals with those who would disgrace it. Ohio Democrats should be embarrassed that Dann was elected, but proud of the way they handled his mistakes.
5.15.2008 7:45am
anonohiolawyer (mail):
(I'm a different person from "Ohio Lawyer," above.)
Ohio Lawyer, please cut the crap. The Democrats had absolutely no choice but to oust Dann. To do otherwise would have been a political catastrophe (and even now, the fallout still might be). Yes, it's good that Dann is gone. But to say that Ohio Democrats should be "proud of the way they handled his mistakes" is complete BS. Proud of what, exactly? Responding to public, media, and political pressure?
How many Democrats criticized Dann in the past few weeks, before it spun out of control? How many censured him because one of his lawyers (and roommates) was driving DUI and damaging state property?
The Democrats have done what they ought to have done, to be sure. But let's not pretend they've covered themselves with glory.
5.15.2008 10:08am
I second anonohiolawyer's comments at 9:08. At this point, the party had very little choice but to turn on Dann. They looked the other way for 16 months of corruption, though. His office was managed poorly from the start. There were a half dozen other scandals already, without a peep from anyone in the legislature. And of course, before he even took office, they let him hand-pick a successor for his senate seat who did not even live in his district and who was a key player in the Traficant trial. Dann thought he was above the law because, for the last year and a half, the legislature treated him like he was above the law. They cannot now roll in at the last minute pretending to be Wyatt Earp.
5.15.2008 12:53pm
Ohio Lawyer:
"There were a half dozen other scandals already, without a peep from anyone in the legislature."

Umm, the legislature is controlled by Republicans. Most of the allegations against Dann came to light during this investigation. Before that, people griped about Dann's management (top heavy decision-making, too dependent on inexperienced friends, etc.). They also griped that he accepted gambling money even though he eventually ruled against the interests of the people who gave him the money.

Before this scandal broke, Dann's problems were enough to justify voting against his reelection, but they weren't serious enough to kick him out early.
5.16.2008 7:52am
Really? What about these:

The Cafaro appointment.

Dann's double-dipping "top cop."

Dann's deputy security director/convicted killer.

The fact that he had his hand out for the gambling money while those contributors were parties to litigation he was leading against them.

Dann's treatment of reporters who question his authority.

The use of state resources, such as work computers and email, to promote fundraising activities.

And don't forget that his office missed filing deadlines in important cases.

Yeah, nobody saw this coming at all. Up until three weeks ago everything was going great.
5.16.2008 3:13pm