Loyal friend, but awful Ohio AG

Matt Westerhold
Aug 9, 2014


Six years after Marc Dann was forced out as Ohio attorney general for his involvement in a sexual harassment scandal, Mike DeWine still doesn't get it.

DeWine intervened last year in a sexual harassment investigation involving a member of his “kitchen cabinet” of close friends he's hired on since he took office in 2011.

Either DeWine simply does not understand his own policies regarding sexual harassment complaints, or his involvement was highly inappropriate and he's being disingenuous about it.

His staff — including DeWine spokespeople Dan Tierney and Lisa Hackley, and DeWine's chief of staff, Mary Mertz, also either don't understand sexual harassment or all three are being disingenuous, marching to DeWine's orders.

The probe by Equal Employment compliance officer Kristine Cadek was shut down — completed with no findings — three days after DeWine interfered in the investigation. 

When he met with Cadek, DeWine insisted the investigator give him the name of a confidential source who provided information about which of his friends was sexually harassing an intern.

Sexual harassment is all about power, and DeWine used his power to short-circuit the investigation and shut it down, similar to the way harassers use their position of power to intimidate interns and subordinate employees with whom they want to have sex.

Older man, much younger woman. Powerful man with important friends versus intern looking for a full-time position.

And now DeWine won't talk about it, leaving it to Tierney, Hackley and Mertz to attempt plausible explanations for DeWine's extraordinary interference helping out a friend in a jam.

DeWine's a loyal friend, perhaps, but he's a self-serving incompetent, or corrupt, attorney general who sidesteps his own rules when the rules are inconvenient to his goals.

Sexual harassment is all about power, and the senior-level AG employee who allegedly harassed the intern had one powerful friend in Mike DeWine.

As far as the obvious potential violations of the attorney general's sexual harassment policy that occurred, Mertz offered a “hear no evil see no evil” explanation.

“I am not aware of any information published to date which can corroborate the allegations of 'potential violations of policy,'” Mertz told the Register.

Translation: We didn't document our violations therefore there were no violations.

“The attorney general is entitled to full information about any alleged misdeeds of his own staff so that he has the ability to take any necessary action,” Mertz told the Register. “Our policy is not to hide information about potential staff wrongdoing from the Attorney General.”

It appears the “necessary action” was to arrange an interview between Cadek and DeWine so DeWine could get the source information and kill the probe.

DeWine should have stayed 100 miles away from Cadek's investigation of his friend. He should not have insisted Cadek give him the name of the confidential source.

If he did contact the source and attempt to assist in the investigation, as Hackley told the Columbus Dispatch after the Register first reported DeWine's involvement, then why weren't those efforts documented in Cadek's report?

DeWine and his communications team are attempting to create plausible explanations for violating the AG office's own policies, but plausibility is eluding all of them.

They're practiced at this game, but not very good at it. 

DeWine whitewashed a 2012 grand jury investigation into the sexual exploitation of a mentally ill inmate at the Sandusky County jail. He and his “close personal friend,” senior advisor Bill Schenck, helped a grand jury dertermine there was no crime when guards kept the woman naked in an observational jail cell for hours, encouraging her to masturbate and perform other lewd acts for their sexual gratification.

When it comes to issues of a sexual nature, DeWine and Schenck just don't get it.

There was no crime when the Sandusky County Sheriff's office reached a deal with the guards to pay each of them $5,000 and give them job references in exchange for their silence.   

DeWine whitewashed another grand jury investigation into alleged wrongdoing by the Sandusky County Sheriff's office after Jacob Limberios was killed March 2, 2012, determining that deputies, prosecutors and detectives were just too stupid to conduct a competent investigation, not criminally liable for their ignorance.

DeWine whitewashed a third grand jury investigation into the death of Craig Burdine at the Sandusky County Jail, concocting a revised theory that is just as incompetent as the original work done by the Sandusky County sheriff's office and the Fremont police seven years ago when it appears they covered up what killed Burdine. 

If Mike DeWine makes any promise this fall about what he'll do if he's re-elected, it's an empty promise. DeWine will do nothing more than protect his friends and go after his enemies, and give lip service to everything that's important but not convenient. 

Four years ago Mike DeWine told the Register he would be in the battle over corruption.

In hindsight, we should have asked which side he was on.


JMOP's picture

Rule of thumb:
It would be flirting if the guy was good looking, it's sexual harassment when the guy isn't.

Dr. Information

Wonder if Matt would remind the readers and do a nice piece on Bill Clinton. The ultimate king of sexuality.


Who? It's 2014.


What? It's not like anybody did anything Bill Clinton didn't do! And I thought THAT was all okay! I mean "what he does in his personal life is his own business," and "Republican conspiracy," and "well, ANY man would lie about that kind of thing."

Don't look at ME, Matt Westerhold! I screamed bloody murder about Clinton engaging in sexual activities with an intern in the Oval Office of all inappropriate places, and I complained more than a little about his lies. I was appalled by his obstruction in the investigations, and made no secret of it. Where were YOU then, hmmm? Or is it only wrong when somebody affiliated with the Republican Party does it?

FOR THE RECORD: If ANY of this is true, then the employee(s) involved -- up to and including Mike DeWine -- need to suffer the same consequences any of the rest of us might suffer. But if any of you made an exception for Bill Clinton, then it's only reasonable that anybody else in a position of political power get away with the same things and for the same reasons. Now, go ahead and tell me you're okay with that. I'll wait.

Julie R.

This article is excellent, especially the last two sentences.

Maybe all the females around should also start picketing outside the AG's office over this cover-up of sexual harrassment. It's like who in the HE*L do they think they are looking down their noses at women.

JMOP's picture

Count this female out of that picket line. Not even a top 30 of my government pet peeves.

Are you gonna picket Julie?

just observing

She is just disappointed no one will hit on her.


Count me out as well. Women have been getting hit on time infinite. You either deal with it or get out.

The Big Dog's back

You know, you would think you right wingnuts would be on the victim's side. No wonder nothing will ever get done as long as right wing nuttism infects this land.

JMOP's picture

I'm not siding, I just don't care about this situation.
Most of us females have dealt with this on some level, and I'm not saying the guy is guilty or innocent, it's just not really a big deal in my opinion. Shame on his work ethic if he did.

B0ttom Line

It's a drinking game. Every time dog, deer, coaster and the rest of the uninformed say right wingnut they all do a shot. That's why you can't ever have an intelligent discussion. They're always wasted.


i like that idea!


So tell us all, Big Dog, were you on Monica Lewinsky's side?


Sam, you really need to get over it. Clinton getting a little nookie in the White House is a trivial issue, compared to the bad things that happened to Americans and America from 2000-2008. And why DIDN'T we impeach Bush, anyway?


Coaster, things are either right or they're wrong. Simply because Clinton WAS wrong for "getting a little nookie" in the White House doesn't change whether or not anybody else committed OTHER crimes! (I'd also note that Clinton's actions, BY DEFINITION, are sexual harassment -- more powerful boss, less powerful female subordinate.)

As far as why Bush wasn't impeached, my best guess is it was because Congress (BOTH parties) was complicit in the worst. In my opinion, the "worst" is defined as the USA PATRIOT Act, the MATRIX program, Echelon, and dramatic expansions of the NSA's activities on American soil. But if you remember those goodies, you must also remember that the USA PATRIOT Act passed in Congress virtually unanimously. You're not going to pull an impeachment charge or trial out of THAT, now, ARE you?! And don't bother bringing up Afghanistan or Iraq. Congress was squarely behind actions there, too (albeit with more justification, in my opinion).

Crimes are not illegal because of comparisons, or suddenly NOT crimes because of comparisons. You can criticize Bush all you want (and he merits a portion of it), but then you can't praise Obama with the next breath for doing the same thing, and even expanding upon it in more than a few instances. "Well, BUSH did it!" isn't any kind of rationale acceptable to any kind of decent man or woman. We have people who sexually abuse children, who shoot at each other, and who break into houses on a regular basis, and I've yet to hear somebody say, "Well, Milner beat a kid to death, so it's okay that my boyfriend beat my kid ALMOST to death." Why not? Because they're BOTH wrong.

The Big Dog's back

So if Congress is behind actions that were drummed up by cheney and bush at the CIA, they are complicit?

The Big Dog's back

Remember sam, it wasn't Monica, who was an adult, that complained. But once again, don't let facts get in the way of what's in your head. Clinton lied, nobody died. Bush lied, 5000 died.


Again, Big Dog, the comparisons have nothing whatsoever to do with right and wrong. Is it okay to beat a child ALMOST to death since somebody else actually beat a child and KILLED it? Is it okay for me to steal $100 from you by force, but NOT okay to steal $500? Better still, is it okay for me to rob you of your television if somebody else has already robbed you of everything else?

If your answer is "no," then suggesting what Clinton did was okay because Bush did worse is ridiculous. Did Bush make mistakes? Yes. Do I consider any of those mistakes impeachable? Yes. Shall I excuse them, though, by saying that Clinton lied to Congress already, so a few more lies out of a President's mouth are okay?

The Big Dog's back

How many people died because of Monica and Clinton?


Still can't deny he did something wrong, CAN you. Still won't condemn Obama for doing the same -- AND MORE -- than George W. I'm beginning to agree with those who say that progressive liberalism is a mental illness. Clearly your brain isn't firing on all cylinders! Since when does somebody else doing something wrong make it okay for the next guy, hmmm?

The Big Dog's back

I said Clinton lied. Are you ready to say bush lied about the Iraq war?


When the whole Marc Dann thing went on all the repubs went nuts. They called for his head. Now DeWine is involved in a cover up and watch all the excuses come out. LOL Now Clinton's name is thrown in.


Bringing up Clinton is a weak attempt at distraction.

Dr. Information

as is every single time you bring up Bush kid.


According to an earlier article, the AG turned the matter over to the county prosecutor so he could decide if charges needed to be brought. That hardly sounds like a cover-up or corruption.

Julie R.

Yes, it does. That's what the AG's office tells people --- duh, report it to the county prosecutor because they know the corrupt county prosecutor won't do a dam* thing.


Stick to topic. ALL did this. Both sides. Megan Marshack.

The New World Czar

Any doubt why DeWine won't "respond" to the SR's wannabe debate w/ Pepper? Do a search on both candidates on this website and you can see the anti-DeWine bias/obsession from the SR editorial staff.

Julie R.

After making the mistake of voting for him, I'm anti-DeWine now, too. The only thing I hate more than a thief is a liar.