Ruling made in Del. State Auditor convictions, calls for resignation renewed
DELAWARE – Controversy continues to swirl around the Delaware State Auditor’s office. As State Auditor Kathy McGuiness continues her run for re-election, calls for her to step down are being renewed.
Convictions Upheld, Retrial Request Denied
Tuesday, a judge upheld two jury convictions against McGuiness for official misconduct and conflict of interest. A third misdemeanor conviction for improperly structuring contract payments to a consulting firm was thrown out. Superior Court Judge William Carpenter Jr. also denied McGuiness’ request for a new trial.
The rulings come after McGuiness was charged in relation to hiring her own college-age daughter as an intern in the State Auditor’s office. In a statement to 47 ABC, McGuiness wrote, “I want to be clear and reiterate, Delaware does not prohibit the hiring of close relatives and the practice is common throughout State government. I do believe it is unfair I am being singled out for what is so common in Delaware.”
Attorney Steve Wood, representing McGuiness, said in his own statement that “McGuiness’s daughter did the same work as the other college interns, was paid the same or less as the other college interns and was not the only college intern who was permitted to work remotely while at school.”
McGuiness went on to write in her own statement that she was disappointed with Judge Carpenter’s recent ruling. “I take this job and the public’s trust seriously. You have seen each of the other charges drop because it became clear the truth, the whole truth, was very different from the narrative the DOJ tried to spin,” she wrote.
Resignation Calls Renewed
Meanwhile, Delaware’s Senate and House Majority leaders are calling for McGuiness to relinquish her seat.
Delaware Senate President Pro Tempore Dave Sokola, Senate Majority Leader Bryan Townsend, and Senate Majority Whip Elizabeth Lockman issued a statement, which reads in part, “Delawareans have had enough. Now that she has been tried and convicted of multiple crimes and her request for a new trial has been denied, Kathy McGuiness owes it to the people of Delaware to do what is right and step down before she is forced out of the elected office that the Attorney General, a jury and a Superior Court judge all agree she used to violate the public’s trust.”
House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst and House Majority Whip Larry Mitchell echoed that call for McGuiness to step down. In a statement, the pair wrote “When these criminal allegations, now proven in a court of law, were brought forth, we joined those who called for her to step down. Today, we reiterate our call for her resignation. If she refuses to do so, the Governor is required to remove her from office at the time of sentencing in accordance with the Delaware Constitution. The people of Delaware deserve better.”