Del. Senate votes to remove Auditor Kathy McGuiness from office, House to consider next

DOVER, Del. – Monday, Delaware’s Senate voted to remove State Auditor Kathy McGuiness from office. The final tally was 13 yes votes, seven no votes, and one absent.

Senators Bruce Ennis, Kyle Evans Gay, Stephanie Hansen, Elizabeth Lockman, Spiros Mantzavinos, Sarah McBride, Trey Paradee, Marie Pinkney, Nicole Poore, David Sokola, Laura Sturgeon, Bryan Townsend, and John Walsh voted yes. Meanwhile, Senators Colin Bonini, Darius Brown, Gerald Hocker, Dave Lawson, Ernie Lopez, Brian Pettyjohn, and Bryant Richardson voted no. Senator David Wilson was absent.

This comes after McGuiness was convicted of official misconduct, conflict of interest, and structuring a contract to avoid a procurement policy. Jurors ruled that McGuiness broke state laws by hiring her daughter for a part-time job, and awarding a contract to a consultant who worked on her campaign. McGuiness was acquitted of two felonies.

Senate President Pro Tempore Sokola sponsors the resolution that would remove McGuiness from office.

“This is the first time in Delaware’s history that a statewide elected official has been charged with felonies while in office. Keep in mind that these charges stem from more than a dozen whistleblowers from her own office, coming forward with reports of the Auditor abusing the power of her position for personal and political gain,” he said. “Any public official who engages in the actions Auditor McGuiness was found guilty of by a jury is unfit for public office, especially the state’s top financial watchdog.”

However, other lawmakers said the decision on whether or not to remove McGuiness from office should be left up to the voters, if she runs for office again. “Any of our names could be on this resolution, if we’re charged with misdemeanors. People in these chambers, by the way, have been charged with misdemeanors,” said Sen. Bonini. “If you honestly take time to look at this trial, and look at the motions – I would not be surprised if those charges are dismissed – and you think what happened is worth removing somebody who has been fairly and freely elected, I  don’t even know what to say.”

Monday’s resolution starts the process for a Bill of Address. This resolution would require a simple majority from the House and Senate to begin the process, but, the resolution to begin the process is not the same as the Bill of Address. We’re told a Bill of Address would require a supermajority vote to pass, and if the Bill received a two-thirds vote in both chambers, the Governor is not required to take action, and the Bill does not automatically remove McGuiness from office.

Categories: Crime, Delaware, Local News, Local Politics