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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pajamagate: Suddenly, Marc Dann's no longer down with that whole transparency thing

Posted By on Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 7:02 AM

A prospective intern tries on the required office attire for Marc Dann's attorney general's office.
For years, Marc Dann spent his time as a renegade state senator railing hard against his Republican nemeses for their aversion to transparency. When Taft refused to release personal e-mails, citing executive privilege, Dann fought him. When the state wouldn’t hand over investment records relating to the Coingate scandal, citing the protection of trade secrets, Dann pushed for their release. Even when he was elected Attorney General, his crusade against corruption didn’t seem to slow. In his first 100 days, he bagged on Ken Blackwell’s harem of special counsel, firing nine of them. He sued insurance behemoths for malfeasance, and he brought Time Warner to its knees with a $175 million settlement for securities-fraud. But now, as Dann finds himself in the middle of his own scandal, his personal quest for full disclosure appears to have come to an abrupt end. ... Last week, the newspapers swelled with headlines about Dann’s Pajamagate – yet another example of the Democratic Party’s historical preference for sexually oriented scandals. (Sort of like Kennedy and Clinton, only those guys always made sure their sex scandals resulted in them actually getting laid.) Jessica Utovich, who worked as a scheduler for Dann, claimed that while she working at Dann’s Columbus apartment earlier this year, she performed her duties in – pajamas? Unfortunately, the media hasn’t been able to extract much more than that out of Utovich or Dann. That’s because, in one of the greatest ironies of the 21st Century, Dann has refused to release emails between himself and Utovich. In fact, the only thing Dann has said to the press is that his kids are horribly embarrassed. But of what? A woman in sweats? Or was she wearing a naughty little negligee? The fact that we don’t even know what type of pajamas she was wearing makes all this talk of a scandal incredibly surreal. Did Dann force her to work in pajamas? And who the hell wears “pajamas” after the age of eight? Without Dann giving “full disclosure” of the incident, one’s mind easily assumes the worst – like a fetish for fuzzy, footed PJs. And then, to make matters worse, shortly after this outrageous tale of extreme casual-wear became public, two 26-year-old aides filed sexual harassment complaints against Anthony Gutierrez, Dann’s director of general services. Both women say that Gutierrez tried pressuring them into sex and claim they have the text messages to prove it. So what does Dann do? He says absolutely nothing, and then places his spokesman, Leo Jennings, on paid leave. What?!? What does Jennings have to do with any of this? Dann won’t say, and all we know is that the three men shared an apartment, which, in itself, is also incredibly strange. What are grown men who make six-figure salaries doing in an apartment together? Is this some odd, real life rendition of Old School? Have they started an old-farts fraternity where they chase young tale, forcing girls to do keg stands in pajamas? Since Dann refuses to honor his own code of honesty and transparency – and since this is Ohio -- we can only assume the weirdest. – Denise Grollmus

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