Yesterday we discussed the legal procedures at work in the AG's office sexual harassment case -- a scandal your blogger will heretofore refer to as Marc's Mess.
As alluded to before, the big step on the horizon is discovery. Assuming the plaintiffs move the case out of the OCRC, they have the right to ask the uncomfortable questions. It may be a stretch to say that whether Jessica Utovitch was wearing PJs in the
frat house condo is relevant to whether Anthony Gutierrez harassed his subordinates, but that's not the standard. Here's the standard from Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26:
- Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense . . . For good cause, the court may order discovery of any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the action. Relevant information need not be admissible at the trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. All discovery is subject to the limitations imposed by Rule 26(b)(2)(C).
So there will be a deposition and the big questions will be asked. At that point we have several possible scenarios. If the truth is that nothing untoward is going on, Dann and Utovitch will say so and either be believed or not. If something is going on and they tell the truth, Dann goes on but probably is mortally wounded poltically.
And if the don't come clean, then it's a matter of whether the other side -- either the other legal side or the other political side gets the evidence to break the stories. If that happens, game over.
No doubt Dann is concerned about losing the case and about his friend. But I bet what keeps him up nights is imagining himself in that deposition chair.