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Apples and oranges

May 7, 2008 - Rob Weaver
A reader critiquing Tuesday's editorial said it was comparing apples to oranges; the edit states Attorney General Marc Dann should resign, noting another exec in his office had been fired for violating office policy.

“Sexual harassment and asking an employee to commit perjury is illegal,” the reader wrote. “Consensual sex, whether extramarital or not, is not. Adultery is not even grounds for divorce in Ohio. To put the double standard label on this situation is incorrect.”

I disagreed. It's really not an issue of holding Dann to a higher -- or even expected -- standard of morality. Had he been caught having an affair with someone not in his employ, there might not be cause for dismissal — as long as it's not on the taxpayer's dime. But engaging in sex, even “consensual,” with a subordinate should be a violation of office policy.

Surely Dann, an attorney, can grasp how such behavior would expose him to sexual harassment claims -- if not from the subordinate, then from another employee who may believe he or she is being treated differently because they won't sleep with the boss.

I don't think it's asking too much of an attorney general to expect him or her to follow the rules.

By the way, there's nothing wrong with comparing apples and oranges. In fact, that can be a useful exercise, and most of us do it all the time. Comparing bad apples to bad apples, though, can be tricky.


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