Friday, May 2, 2008

Marc Dann Deposition shows condo was active place

A few passages that stand out from my first reading of the 157 page deposition Marc Dann gave on April 22nd. You can read it all courtesy the Plain Dealer by clicking here.

For the most part, Dann is grilled about the activities at the condo he shared with Anthony "Tony" Gutierrez, who led Dann's general services office and Leo Jennings, his communication director.

Gutierrez came under fire when he was accused by two employees he supervised — Cindy Stankoski and Vanessa Stout — of sexual harassment. Dann fired Gutierrez for his conduct and Jennings for allegedly telling someone to lie on an employment application. He also fire Ed Simpson, his policy chief, for failing to address the problems.

The other player in this saga is Jessica Utovich, Danns' 28-year-old scheduler. She resigned voluntarily today but published reports say she admits to a "close relationship" with Dann while spending the night at the Dann-Jennings-Gutierrez condo from time-to-time. As you'll see, Dann is quizzed about Utovich's activities at the condo, but he tries to deflect them. You'll also find that Dann's wife, Alyssa, apparently had attitude-and-then-some with the young women lurking around the office.

Update .. the Columbus Dispatch has since added transcripts of the some of the 2,000 emails Dann and Utovich shared.

Now that you know the backdrop .. here's a few passages to peruse from Dann's deposition:

(page 86)
Q. -- your wife was accused of staring and glaring at Cindy and Vanessa; did you ever hear that?
A. I heard it since this has all gotten underway and read it in the newspaper.
Q. At the time this happened, it was not brought to your attention?
A. No, sir.
Q. Did you ever hear that Ed Simpson admonished your wife about the way she acted
toward these two ladies?
A: No.
Q. Okay.
A. Ed and Alyssa have a separate relationship, so I don't know what -- you know, I'm not privy to all their conversations with each other.
Q. But the question was you're not aware --
A. No.
Q. -- that he had admonished her about her --
A. I'm not aware whether he did or not.

(page 98)
Q. Did you ever hear that Vanessa Stout sent Tony an e-mail on his cell phone that was raunchous in nature?
A. I've learned that since this investigation's gotten underway.
Q. Did you learn also the fact that his wife became aware of that e-mail on his cell phone?
A. I -- again, I read that in the newspaper. And I may have read it in the complaint that generated this investigation.
Q. Do you know whether or not your wife was told by Tony's wife about this situation?
A. I don't know.
Q. Okay. Did you ever hear there were rumors -- about rumors in the office of Vanessa and Cindy Stankoski having relationships with management personnel?
A. No.

(page 100 .. discussion about Tony having a gun in his car ..)

(page 105 ... told Tony to clean up his act, and that his drinking had put the office in a "bad position")

(page 106)
A. Once the investigation got underway, I became aware that he was doing it.
Q. Okay. Were you ever made aware of the fact that Tony was telling employees about his mob connections back home and his influence in the office because he was your roommate?
A. No, I was not aware of that.
Q. Were you ever told about employees being afraid of what they may say or talk about because he was talking about his influence in the office with you?
A. No. But I'm curious and anxious to hear that.

(page 106 -- Utovich's job is changed around the time Dann claims he came clean with his wife about an affair with a co-worker)
Q. Would you tell me why Jessica Utovich's office was moved to the 15th floor.
A. I think her job was changed. Jessica Utovich?
Q. Yes.
A. Yeah. Her job was changed from my scheduler to the head of the travel office.
Q. Jessica Utovich was hired at a level of about $34,000 a year; is that correct?
A. I don't know. I had no involvement with setting her salary.
Q. Do you know how she got the raise of $10,000?
A. I don't have any personal knowledge of how she got the raise of $10,000. I'm told, after this -- again, after I learned about the raise, that the promise was made to her when she started that they would start her at a relatively low salary. She replaced somebody who was earning $70,000 a year. And if she were successful for a period of time, based on the reviews of her supervisors, that she would get an increase. And I only found that out because I was copied on the e-mail and I asked. And that's why the raise. And there were a number of administrative staff raises that were -- after we implemented the lawyer raises, there were a number of administrative staff and senior staff raises that were addressed, and that was one of them. It was with a group of raises.
Q. So it's your understanding that she got a raise because of basically a promise to her because her former -- her predecessor in that job was paid more money?
A. No. What I said was I had no personal knowledge of why she got the raise. I was told that she -- one, there was a promise made that her salary would be reviewed after her performance was evaluated. I'm aware that her performance was evaluated, because I looked at her personnel file, and was evaluated by Colleen Brown, who was her supervisor. And I'm also aware it was raised -- and then the decision to raise it was made by somebody other than me.
Q. When she got a raise, did her job duties change?
A. They changed -- I don't know what -- again, I'm not personally aware of the timing of the raise. I know her job duties --
Q. The raise was given to her when she was still a scheduler.
A. Okay.
Q. She did not change into the travel office at that time. She was still a scheduler.
A. Right.


Anonymous said...

With all of the extra curricular activity at the Dann-Jennings-Gutierrez condo, I'm suprised anyone had the energy to do any work at the office.

Anonymous said...


Your statement about Dann’s wife Alyssa having an attitude toward “the young women lurking around the office” seems harsh toward the “young women”. I haven’t read the 157 page deposition, so maybe I’m making a wrong assumption, but I haven’t read anything in the MSM or blogs leading me to believe that Cindy or Vanessa or anyone else for that matter was actively pursuing a relationship with the managers in the AG’s office. Quite the contrary, they seem to be disgusted and were running away from these guys.

Alyssa’s reaction to young, attractive women in her husband’s office speaks volumes. She assumes they’re there for only one reason, and it’s not for their typing and filing skills. Talk about a wife testifying against her husband!

Eric Mansfield said...

Point well taken ... but I don't think I have taken too much of a leap

if you get a chance, take a look at the whole transcripts which indicate several questions at Marc Dann about his wife's actions ...

If it's true that Dann came clean with his wife in the fall, then put yourself in her shoes. How would you have looked at the young women in your husband's office? Regardless of whether it's "the" woman still nearby your husband's desk, don't you think you could have attitude towards others? Additionally, considering it turned out to be the same two young women who'd been to the bachelor pad, Alyssa also may have viewed them in the same light as Jessica Utovich. She may not have known all the details -- specifically the sexual harrassment claims involving these women -- but nevertheless, Alyssa took action.

Finally, if her husband -- the boss -- was swinging from the chandelier with one office sweetheart, how could she be sure he hadn't had a second?

I suppose only a sit-down interview with Alyssa would answer these questions .. so until she does that, we're all left to review the records and make assumptions. Either way, I feel bad her Alyssa and her family ..

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