Published: Sunday, November 25, 2007
Racy phone number mix-up proves latest gaffe for Dann to handle
Also this month, Dann was asked to publicly apologize for an e-mail he sent.
COLUMBUS One skill Attorney General Marc Dann has honed in his first year in office is damage control.
There have been four notable examples of gaffes since April the latest coming over the Thanksgiving holiday.
A press release with tips for holiday shoppers issued by Dann included one unexpected tip: the number for a telephone sex hot line.
A prerecorded message urges callers to pay 69 cents a minute to speak with hot housewives and college students.
Spokesman Leo Jennings said Saturday that the number on Friday's release was supposed to be for a help center, where callers can register complaints about shopping problems.
But a staffer accidentally transposed one digit in the press release. "It was a typographical error" made by a staffer, Jennings said.
He explained the press release was sent to the media Friday morning. A reporter with the Dayton Daily News called the hot line to determine how much it was being used and discovered the number in the release was for phone sex.
When that number is called, a woman's voice advises the caller to "brighten up your day with stimulating talk" and provides an 800 number.
A second release was sent by Dann's office to the media later Friday with the correct number: (877) 244-6446.
Also this month, the Ohio Christian Alliance and the Ohio GOP called on Dann to publicly apologize for an e-mail he sent. The e-mail said public criticism of Jennings was worse than what Jesus suffered on Good Friday.
The Dayton newspaper had reported that Dann e-mailed Jennings on April 6 about an editorial in The Vindicator that resulted in six nasty Web postings about Jennings.
"Jesus had it better on Good Friday," wrote Dann, who is Jewish.
Chris Long, president of the Ohio Christian Alliance, asked Dann to apologize, calling the remark appalling, bigoted and insensitive.
In a letter sent to Long, Jennings responded: "The remark is in no way reflective of the attorney general's philosophy or principles. ... I know that Marc cherishes his own faith and is deeply respectful, considerate and tolerant of the religious beliefs held by others."
Before that, in late June, Dann told a newspaper reporter to "go ... [expletive]" himself.
As Dann walked from his SUV to a Barack Obama fundraiser in Boardman, he shouted the statement to Steve Oravecz, a reporter with the Tribune Chronicle of Warren. Oravecz was with a group of local reporters and photographers when Dann made the statement.
Dann was upset about an article by Oravecz about the Ohio secretary of state's hiring of Mavilya Chubarova, whom Dann raised as his daughter, for a $37,000-a-year job in Columbus. Oravecz had interviewed Dann a day earlier.
In April, a former Youngstown police detective sergeant who was working for Dann was being investigated by Youngstown and other law enforcement agencies on allegations of double-dipping and other matters.
Rick Alli, who was the attorney general's chief of law enforcement operations, was being investigated for being on the city's payroll at the same time he was working for the attorney general, Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams said. The mayor said Alli had not held an official position with the city since he began working for the state. Dann fired Alli on April 20.
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