Saturday, May 03, 2008

Dann's Incredible Deposition: The Gutierrez Hire

A favorite sport arising from Marc's Mess is sifting through the various sworn statements and depositions for guns, smoking or otherwise. Bill Sloat, Eric Mansfield, and ModernEsquire have each spent quality time with the transcript.

The most compelling case against Marc Dann begins with his staffing the office with longtime FoMs who were initially unqualified for their jobs and were allowed to conduct themselves abominably. The passages concerning how the AGs office hired accused serial harasser Anthony Gutierrez suggest that Dann is either lying in the deposition or is so incompetent an administrator that he should resign for that reason alone. Dann essentially denies any involvement in either hiring his friend or overseeing his work. Here is the passage, with some italicized annotations.

    Q. And during your transition period, you identified employees that could work within your office?
    A. That's correct.
    Q. And was one such employee Anthony Gutierrez?
    A. Actually, not. My understanding is -- again, I had -- at the time, I wasn't aware of whether he had applied for a job. But I have become aware since this investigation started that he applied sometime in the second month that we were in office, sometime in late January or early February. So he was not in what I call the transition period, but after that.
    Q. It's been reported that he is your neighbor back in West Liberty.
    A. Liberty Township, Ohio. Tony lives at 607 Northlawn. I live at 637.

      Wait a minute. Gutierrez has been a longtime friend, worked on the campaign, and lives a block away but Dann only heard about his application through channels? Given what we've heard about Gutierrez's outsized sense of entitlement, this defies credulity.

    Q. When did you find out he applied for a position with your office?
    A. Sometime in January or early February of 2007.

      According to the timeline published by the Plain Dealer, Gutierrez applied in December and was officially hired as Director of General Services on Feb. 5.

    Q. Do you know how he applied?
    A. I don't.
    Q. Do you know who interviewed him for the position?
    A. I don't.

      Gutierrez was hired to take care of all the material needs of the office. Doesn't that sound like a position the AG would want a personal hand in filling? And given that Gutierrez had no experience in either government or this kind of work, how is it he was the most qualified applicant in the pool? And if he wasn't, isn't that in itself proof that Dann took part in the hiring decision?
There's more where that came from.