Marc Dann (Former Ohio Attorney General) Was Shafted, IMHO

By a Reader

Even though he may not be a very good lawyer.  I assumed (incorrectly, it appears) from news accounts that Dann was corrupt and that the case against him had a modicum of legitimacy.  That will teach me not to believe the media, from which I have heard not one convincing report in his defense, even though there was a dissent filed in the appeals court case denying his appeal of the lower court’s adverse ruling. Here is the appeals court ruling.

This case is unbelievable.   Dann was convicted of violation of Ohio campaign finance laws for spending campaign funds for personal uses (a security system in his house.  Gov. Strickland approved his installing home security system, including new doors & windows, which all cost $40,000, to save the state money and give him greater privacy because the state was paying for 24/7 security for him, his wife and his two children after he had received death threats (as the result of positions adverse to the gaming industry).

Dann relied upon an opinion involving FEC saying it was OK for a congressman to install a security system with campaign funds following safety threats.  The Ohio Election Commission, which conducted the audit and concluded there was misconduct, is composed of all Republicans.    He appealed the lower court’s ruling against him.  He lost on appeal when the appeals court said that his conduct was understandable but that didn’t make it legal.  It distinguished this case from the congressman’s case because the congressman only spent $7-8,000!  The court was sympathetic but said there was no abuse of discretion!!!  The dissent tells us that no evidence was presented to show any increase in value of his house as the result of the security system.  On the contrary, his committee had agreed he would remit any sales proceeds if he sold the house to the extent of any increase in value due to the security system.  He reported the expenditure as required on campaign finance reports.

What a shaft.  I had no idea…He must have been taken down.  You know, when he resigned for the sexual harassment/ mistress scandal (May, 2008), he had JUST taken action in court against Freddie Mac (January 23, 2008), on behalf of Ohio PERS for money lost ($27MM) on bad mortgages and been named lead plaintiff in the case, which was a class action (April, 2008).  He  was said to be considering action against the big investment banks. [Attorney General Marc Dann Sues Freddie Mac on Behalf of Ohio Public Employees Retirement Fund]. He was also involved in another case against Freddie Mac.  Funny thing — the other counsel appointed as class counsel was Stan Chesley, who has since been taken down in Kentucky in a scandal involving taking too much in legal fees as lead counsel in the Fen Phen class action (June, 2011).  That after he was found not guilty of defrauding a client in the settlement of another class action against the Roman Catholic Church for sexual abuse.  Stan is no angel, but the coincidence is notable.  He is a former chairman of the Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline.

OH Supreme Court still hasn’t made a decision on Dann’s law license, even though in April (when the hearing was) the media predicted it could be “weeks” before the court made a decision.

What a legal system.

Related reading:

Marc Dann
From Wikipedia

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