Del. judge bars laptop evidence in State Auditor case
DOVER, Del. – A Delaware judge has chastised prosecutors for failing to turn over information to the defense in a criminal corruption case against State Auditor Kathy McGuiness, issuing a ruling that also exposed weaknesses in the state’s cyber forensic capabilities.
In a ruling on Wednesday, Superior Court Judge William Carpenter Jr. prohibited prosecutors from using material from three laptops that were seized during a search of McGuiness’ officer in September 2021. Carpenter said that prohibition was an appropriate sanction for prosecutors’ failure to provide information contained on laptops to the defense until April 6th, more than six months after the search.
However, Carpenter refused to grant a defense motion to dismiss the indictment against McGuiness.
A spokeswoman for Attorney General Kathy Jennings reportedly declined to comment, saying that the office was under a gag order. McGuiness’ defense attorney, Steve Wood, also declined to comment.
McGuiness was indicted in October 2021 on conflict of interest in violation of the State Officials’ Code of Conduct, felony theft, non-compliance with procurement law by structuring state payments, official misconduct, and felony witness intimidation charges.