Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Former Ohio AG Suspended

From the web page of the Ohio Supreme Court:

The law license of former Ohio Attorney General Marc E. Dann has been  suspended for six months for engaging in conduct that resulted in his  conviction on misdemeanor criminal counts of soliciting improper compensation  and filing false financial disclosure statements during his tenure as attorney  general.

In a 7-0 per  curiam opinion announced today, the Supreme Court of Ohio adopted findings by  the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline that Dann “engaged in  conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law” by making  improper payments from his political campaign fund to two senior aides while  they were employed by the attorney general’s office and by filing  2007 and 2008 financial disclosure statements  that failed to disclose expense reimbursement checks totaling $17,540 that Dann  had received from his campaign committee and failed to disclose that a campaign  contributor and his companies had paid more than $20,000 to lease a private jet  that transported Dann, his children and others to a seminar in Scottsdale,  Arizona.

In rejecting  Dann’s argument that a stayed license suspension was a sufficient sanction for  his misconduct, the court wrote: “While we recognize that Dann has offered  substantial mitigating evidence, we note that he has previously been  disciplined by this court, he has admitted that he knowingly engaged in the  conduct that resulted in his criminal conviction for soliciting improper  compensation, and that his conduct with respect to his financial-disclosure  statements fell somewhere between reckless and knowing.  He also engaged in this unlawful conduct  while serving as the state’s chief legal officer and one of the most  recognizable attorneys in this state.”

“Having considered, Dann’s conduct, the  applicable aggravating and mitigating factors, and the sanctions imposed for  comparable misconduct, we find that the board properly weighed the aggravating  and mitigating factors present in this case. Therefore, we overrule Dann’s  objections, concur with the findings of the board, and agree that a six-month  actual license suspension is the appropriate sanction for Dann’s misconduct.”

The court concluded that Dann had done "incalculable harm" to the reputation of his office.

The opinion is linked here. (Mike Frisch)


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