Simpson left the Globe to become chief of staff for Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann, who is currently embroiled in a scandal involving an aide who is charged with sexual harassment, and allegations that Dann's 28-year-old scheduler Jessica Utovich was lounging around the middle-aged Dann's apartment in pajamas. (Say what you want about Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon, but he has been in office for 16 years and nothing like that has ever been reported.)
The Dann case has a similarity to some of the recent occurrences in Missouri state government, including officials seeking the release of e-mails. Dann's office released a batch which does not exactly reveal a businesslike atmosphere in the Ohio Attorney General's office:
In some 2,200 messages between Utovich and colleagues released late Monday, Dann's office appears to be informal and sociable, with e-mails floating between Utovich and colleagues about socializing after work.
"What are you doing?" Utovich e-mailed Dann on Oct. 16.
"Drinking," he replied.
But in other e-mails, Utovich appeared sensitive to the informal atmosphere and teasing atmosphere in the office.
"Keep making fun of me," she wrote. "That's fine ... I'm an idiot. Glad to make you laugh."
In another, she wrote, "I don't want to talk to you again."
In other e-mails, she called her boss a "dork," and he jokingly called her an expletive associated with a female dog.
A series of exchanges on Sept. 6 seemed to take a more serious tone. At one point, Utovich told Dann, "I do not appreciate being yelled at in front of everyone."
After he apologized, she wrote, "You are so fricking mean."
"And you are little mary sunshine," he responded.
"At least I care," she wrote back. A few minutes later, she wrote, "my face hurts and burns from crying and I can't keep fighting."
The e-mails include the period from September to November 2007, which covers the night Utovich was reportedly at Dann's suburban Columbus apartment in pajamas.
Though several top aides of Dann have run into problems or have been forced to leave, Simpson has remained untouched by the controversies surrounding his boss.