Last month, Delaware state auditor Kathleen McGuiness was found guilty on three misdemeanor charges, of official misconduct, conflict of interest and structuring a contract to avoid a procurement policy. Senate Democrats have since called for her resignation.
McGuiness is the first sitting official in Delaware to be charged with a crime.
The former state auditor was accused of arranging payments to a public policy communications company that strategically sidestepped Delaware’s procurement guidelines. The payment amounts were just under the legal threshold, and payments above $50,000 require a bidding process.
McGuiness’ other two charges were related to the hiring of her daughter and giving her access to special privileges that would be unavailable to a normal staff member. McGuiness permitted her daughter to work remotely, drive a state vehicle and “bank hours.”
McGuiness was also charged with two felony counts of theft and witness intimidation. However, both of these charges were dropped.
Attorney General Kathy Jennings stated in a press release, “From the moment I took office, I promised that no one would be either above the law or beneath justice.” She continued, “I am grateful for the jury’s judgment, for the excellent work of our trial team, and above all else for the courage of the whistleblowers and witnesses who came forward and made accountability possible. Our office’s — and the jury’s —message is clear: abuse of office will not be tolerated in Delaware.”
However, McGuiness disagreed with the jury’s decision, claiming they received a “biased, cherry-picked account of the truth.”
She told reporters that she intends to file a motion to acquit and a motion for a retrial.
She also responded to calls for her resignation, saying, “I know Senator [David] Sokola is leading calls for resignation but a conviction is not final until one is sentenced and we have a sentencing date and that won’t until the court rules on the two motions of judgment we have submitted.”
Delaware Gov. John Carney released a statement in response to pressure from the Senate to remove McGuiness from office. He explained that “the Governor has no power to act until after the entry of a judgment of conviction by the Superior Court.”
However, two weeks after the verdict, the Delaware Democratic House Caucus wrote Gov. John Carney. The letter stated, “The crimes the State Auditor has been found guilty of meet the Constitutional criteria of ‘misbehavior in office,’ and that as a result, you are obligated to remove her from office upon entry of a judgment of conviction by the Superior Court.” The Senate voted 13-7 to hold a removal hearing for McGuiness.
According to The Blaze, “McGuiness is running for re-election in September’s primary against candidate Lydia York.”
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.