When I read in Friday’s Dispatch that Cindy Stankoski and Vanessa Stout were asking for $400,000 each to settle their sexual harrasment cases against the Attorney General’s office I was kind of shocked.

I’m not saying they don’t deserve it. But when you add in the attorney’s fees the total comes close to a million dollars the state is going to have to pay. That’s some serious cash.

Fortunately for them, the facts seem to support their claims and everyone in the State of Ohio has heard those facts many, many times.

We all know that Marc Dann hired Anthony Gutierrez – his long-time, low-life, unqualified friend – and let him run wild- crashing state cars and chasing young, female employees in the AG’s office.

And there is certainly no doubt that Dann’s actions led to a hostile work environment for these women.

All of this has been revealed in painful detail over the past few months in the papers and on the blogs.

Rex Elliott, Cindy and Vanessa’s lawyer, is well aware of the high visibility of this case and he knows no one wants to hear all of this brought up again during a trial.

So, of course, he’s pushing for the state to settle before all of investigations are completed.

And who can blame him.

I do think Rex is probably, in typical lawyer fashion, being a bit dramatic when he calls their ordeal “horrific” – Guitierrez is certainly gross and offensive but I’m not sure he’s capable of causing serious terror to anyone unless maybe he’s driving them around drunk in a state-owned vehicle.

But Mr. Elliott is dead on when he warns that a lawsuit would cause “widespread media attention … during this fall’s important elections” something no one wants to see – except the Republican AG candidate (if they can ever find one).

My suggestion to Attorney General Rogers: make them a reasonable offer and settle this thing ASAP.


Didn’t Ohio lawmakers put a cap on non-economic damages?

Does the request for $400K exceded this cap?