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Dann Announcement - Is Resignation Imminent? - MULTIPLE UPDATES

Embattled and scandal-ridden Ohio Attorney General Marc "Dannimal House" Dann will give a statement at noon today amid reports that his resignation is imminent. Stay tuned . . .

UPDATE: At 12:15pm there's still no sign of Dann. Meanwhile, the Dispatch reports on a truly ridiculous rumor:

some of those close to Dann speculated this morning that he would not be stepping down, and instead may launch a legal battle to halt an independent investigation of his office by Inspector General Thomas P. Charles. Dann had not made any announcements to his top advisers as of 10:30.

Some Dann advisers have raised the possibility of Dann raising a constitutional separate of powers challenge, since the inspector general normally does not have the authority to investigate the attorney general's office.

Such a challenge would be absurd, bordering on frivolous. It would also prove that these scandals are preventing the AG's office from doing its job, and validate widespread speculation (reinforced by the daily trickle of new disclosures) that Dann's misdeeds run far deeper than what's been disclosed to date. It's ever-more embarrassing to acknowledge that this clown is a Case Western alum.

BREAKING UPDATE - 12:30pm: Dann's press statement has been canceled and the AG's office is on "lockdown" to prevent the destruction or removal of documents. From the Dispatch:

A press conference by Attorney General Marc Dann will not be held and the 17th floor of the Rhodes Tower where his office is located is apparently on lock-down to protect sensitive documents that may be subject to investigation.

The State Highway Patrol is in the attorney general's offices, checking employee badges and monitoring to see if documents are being removed from the floor, sources told The Dispatch. Troopers were even searching the purses of employees leaving the offices.

Whether the patrol was working at with Inspector General Thomas P. Charles, who promised to launch an investigation today, could not immediately be confirmed.

MORE from the PD: Dann Out to Lunch.

UPDATE - 1:20pm: A television news report on the Ohio News Network added some new details to the deal Dann sought yesterday. Specifically, the report claims Dann demanded another job and immunity from criminal prosecution in return for his resignation. To their credit, neither Democratic or Republican officeholders would contemplate such a deal.

Soronel Haetir (mail):
Resignation takes all the fun out of high political theater.
5.14.2008 12:52pm
guest3987:
Not so fast. The Highway Patrol just locked down his office in order to preserve evidence. It happen around the time he was planning on doing the press conference, so the media was there to see it.
5.14.2008 1:35pm
NatSecLawGuy:
What a circus. I'd say I'm excited for the trapeze act, but the elephant is still in the room.
5.14.2008 1:37pm
alias:
wow
5.14.2008 2:05pm
Lucius Cornelius:
I work in the Rhodes Tower several floors above where the AG's office is located. I have not been down there but some co-workers have. There are lots of people with badges down there checking everyone going in or out.

There are AAGs on my floor. They were all gathered in front ov a tv to watch Dann's announcement.

I am posting this from my cell phone; our office net nanny blocks the VC. I will try to get more info and post a comment later.
5.14.2008 2:14pm
Charlie Hallinan (mail):
I agree that a separation-of-powers challenge to the Inspector General's new jurisdiction would "border on the frivolous." There is, however, a more substantial objection, i.e., that the act creating the new authority violates the Ohio constitution's single-subject requirement. (Ohio const. sec. 2.15(D): "No bill shall contain more than one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title.") In an effort to act quickly, the Assembly appended the extension of the I-G's power to an already pending bill dealing with penalties for persons convicted of various crimes while holding positions of "honor, trust, or profit." (The text of the enacted provision is available at: http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/bills.cfm?ID=127_SB_3.) The Ohio Supreme Court's single-subject caselaw isn't exactly a model of clarity, but I don't think it would be absurd to suggest that there isn't a constitutionally sufficient nexus between the original subject of the bill and the added provisions regarding the I-G's power. Nor would I think it absurd to argue to the contrary. My point is that, at least superficially, it doesn't look to me like a slam-dunk on either side.
5.14.2008 2:22pm
Oren:
Awesome, we have a man on the inside!
5.14.2008 2:43pm
Lucius Cornelius:
UPDATE:

The lockdown on 17 is over, according to one of the building security guards.

No word on where Dann is. No word on what his announcement was supposed to be about. I will see if I can get further intel from one of the AAGs next time I see one in the men's room.
5.14.2008 3:00pm
Adam J:
"I will see if I can get further intel from one of the AAGs next time I see one in the men's room." Hilarious... this is like a Spies Like Us or something.
5.14.2008 3:23pm
Lucius Cornelius:
No further info. Those AAGs must be camels. None have gone to the men's room.

On an unrelated topic, the AG's office on my floor has an unusually high percentage of superhot women working in it. Hmmmmm... After learning about Dann's senior staff and their view that female subordinates are fair game, maybe I should not be surprised.
5.14.2008 3:41pm
guest3987:
I want to see what communications occurred between Dann and Cafaro before he recommended her for appointment to his state senate seat. It certainly looks like a quid pro quo to me.
5.14.2008 4:11pm
alias:
So the Dannimal is still AG? Nothing new?
5.14.2008 5:04pm
Lucius Cornelius:
Here is a rumor I heard as I was leaving for the day. One of my co-workers heard someone say that they saw Dann being escorted from the Rhodes State Office Tower by the Highway Patrol shortly before noon.

This is just a rumor. I could see them escorting him from his office so that they could seize his computer and files, but from the building? I don't know about this. Seems like an exaggeration.
5.14.2008 5:52pm
Lucius Cornelius:
Dann just resigned! I am watching Governor Strickland on TV right now. I assume he will name Dann's replacement.
5.14.2008 5:55pm
Lucius Cornelius:
I missed Dann's resignation speech. But I listened to the Governor. The important points mentioned:

1. The Inspector General's investigation of the AG's office will continue.

2. The First Assistant Attorney General will take over for now as Acting Attorney General. The Governor has not yet decided whether to appoint someone to fill the vacancy.

There will be a special election this November to fill the AG's post for the remainder of Dann's term (until January of 2010).
5.14.2008 6:06pm
M:
Lucius,

I've kept this comment thread open because you have been cracking me up since early afternoon with your updates. Thank you for the onsite reporting.
5.14.2008 6:21pm
Lucius Cornelius:
It has been my pleasure providing onsite reporting (and, when lacking for material, just making stuff up). If there are any further scandals in Ohio government, I hope I can provide this valuable service again.

Let me just say that I am happy to be typing on my computer again. Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to blog using an eNV cell phone from Verizon Wireless?
5.14.2008 6:51pm
anonohiolawyer (mail):
Lucius, are you hiring?
5.14.2008 6:56pm
Gaius Marius:
On an unrelated topic, the AG's office on my floor has an unusually high percentage of superhot women working in it. Hmmmmm... After learning about Dann's senior staff and their view that female subordinates are fair game, maybe I should not be surprised.

Jupiter! You truly take after your namesake!
5.14.2008 7:54pm
Lucius Cornelius:
My namesake would be looking at the boys as well as the girls. And he would be pursuing a blood vendetta against you. You know what Sulla once said, "No friend ever served me, and no enemy ever wronged me, whom I have not repaid in full."

Ahhhh...the joys of being an evil overlord!
5.14.2008 9:21pm