Sunday, May 18, 2008

Dann's Trifecta

I'd vowed not to say anything more about Marc Dann because it's really a waste of my time, and yours. Since he resigned a few days ago his screw-ups will be fading from public view anyway - at least until the Republicans mine them for gold before next fall's elections.

But in response to a story in yesterday's Columbus Dispatch, I'm gonna take the bait. Dann's paramour, Jessica Utovich, resigned in the middle of this whole mess, nearly two weeks before Dann finally stepped down himself. Turns out that her resignation was the result of yet another screw-up that Dann had a hand in creating:
When she learned that then-Attorney General Marc Dann was going to tell the world the next day that he had an affair with a female staff member, Jessica Utovich hurriedly decided to quit her job with the office.

She submitted her resignation late in the afternoon on May 1.

But that evening, Utovich talked to Dann, with whom she had been romantically involved for several months last year. She says he convinced her to rescind her resignation. She agreed.

Thus, Utovich was stunned the next day when she says she learned, while watching back-to-back televised news conferences by Dann and top assistant Thomas R. Winters, that she no longer had a job.

Later that day, while speaking to The Dispatch editorial board, Dann professed ignorance of the whole situation: "I don't know why she resigned."

(Source: Columbus Dispatch)
Now, I realize Utovich is a grown-up. Adultery is not right. She didn't have to get involved with Dann. She's not excusing herself for any of that.

And yet: Utovich is 28 to his 46. He's got a generation's worth of experience and (one would hope) wisdom on her. He was a powerful man and his attention was surely flattering. More to the point, he was her boss. He had an obligation to uphold professional propriety.

And then he fucking feigns ignorance of a conversation that apparently cost her her job?! What a douche.

Marc Dann has wreaked havoc on three different categories of women: the two (or more) women who suffered hostile environment harassment; his wife, who has been embarrassed at the bare minimum and more likely emotionally bruised; and now his ex-girlfriend, who involuntarily lost her job as well as her lover. It's a perfect trifecta.

So just for a minute, I want to spare some sympathy for Jessica Utovich, who definitely got far more than she bargained for - and a pretty lousy bargain it was. I'm glad she's seeking legal counsel, and I hope she gets some satisfaction.


SunflowerP said...

And as far as I can tell, the only benefit it got him was the satisfaction of saying, in effect, "You can't quit, you're fired."

I'd call it "pointlessly sophomoric", but then I'd have to apologize to all the tenth-graders.


Sungold said...

Well, I think for Dann, her "resignation" got an inconvenient woman out of the way. It's ironic, having seen how long it took Dann to do the right thing and resign - it was almost as though he didn't care how damaging this scandal was to the Democratic party. He hung on for several days after his own people threatened to impeach him!

And just to make clear: I don't think he needed to resign due to his infidelity; that's between him and the women directly involved, his wife and Ms. Utovich. He needed to go because he tolerated and even apparently fostered a "hostile environment" where multiple female staffers felt sexually harassed. And he did so as a *Democrat* and as the *attorney general* - two things that should've sensitized him to the issue of sexual harassment!