State officials speak out following conviction of Del. Auditor
DOVER, Del. – Several Delaware leaders have released statements after State Auditor Kathy McGuiness was found guilty on Friday of three misdemeanor counts.
McGuiness was found guilty on charges of official misconduct, illegally structuring contracts, and conflict of interest, all three misdemeanors. The jury dropped the two more serious, felony charges.
Governor John Carney’s office released the following statement:
“The Auditor of Accounts has been found guilty by a jury of three misdemeanors. The Delaware Supreme Court has made it clear that under Article XV, Section 6 of the Delaware Constitution, addressing the removal of “any public officer convicted of misbehavior in office or of any infamous crime,” the Governor has no power to act until after the entry of a judgment of conviction by the Superior Court. (See Slawik v. Folsom, 410 A.2d 512 (Del. 1979). The Superior Court has not yet entered a judgement of conviction in the proceeding. The Governor has indicated that he believes the Auditor cannot do her job effectively under the circumstances, and he understands that some in the Legislature have called for her immediate removal from office. However, it is the Governor’s responsibility under the law to await the final determination of the court and then to determine his constitutional obligations after the entry of judgment.”
Additionally, Senate President Pro Tempore Dave Sokola, Senate Majority Leader Bryan Townsend, and Senate Majority Whip Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman issued the following joint statement:
“Based on the clear legal precedent established in Slawik v. Folsom, the Senate agrees with Governor Carney that at this stage he cannot unilaterally remove the State Auditor from her position under Article XV of the Delaware Constitution. We once again call on Auditor McGuiness to place the public’s interest ahead of her own and resign. Otherwise, the General Assembly must exercise its Constitutional powers and the Senate is prepared to lead the way.”
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