The Delaware Department of Justice has filed a motion rejecting a claim of the defense attorney for State Auditor Kathleen McGuiness that the Attorney General should be sanctioned for comments regarding the case.
The defense claimed Attorney General Kathleen Jennings should be cited for saying during a press conference that McGuiness refused to meet with investigators. The motion states that Jennings made a factual statement.
A grand jury indicted McGuiness on felony and misdemeanor charges related to her actions in office.
McGuiness also requested that her private defense attorney be paid a rate five times above the hourly figure for a public defender and later claimed that the Justice Department’s statement regarding the claim was prejudicial to her defense.
In rejecting the motion, The Department of Justice argued that paying the high rate would set a bad precedent and negatively affect the public defender’s budget. The state also argued that a procedure exists for appointing an attorney without potential conflicts.
The motion from the Department of Justice that seeks to quash the motion from the defense also noted McGuiness is believed to be the first statewide elected official to face criminal charges.
The filing also stated that the indictment has generated a great deal of interest among the public and the media, adding that the actions of the defense only raised the profile of the case.
Speaking through her attorney, McGuiness has vowed to stay in office, despite calls from State Senate leadership to seek a leave of absence. The House and Senate can impeach and remove McGuiness by a two-thirds vote.
The Department of Justice filing stated that it would not object to limits on pre-trial publicity from prosecution and defense.