State Auditor denies felony, misdemeanor charges listed in indictment

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Delaware State Auditor Kathy McGuiness has denied allegations listed in an indictment and intends to remain in office.

McGuiness could face more than a dozen years in prison if convicted.

In a statement issued through  Wilmington lawyer Steven P. Wood, a partner at McCarter & English, McGuiness refuted allegations that led to the indictment on felony and misdemeanor charges.

Wood released the following: 

Kathy McGuiness is absolutely innocent of these charges.  The Grand Jury’s Indictment, like all Grand Jury Indictments, was based upon a one-sided presentation from witnesses and documents selected by the Attorney General.  The Indictment is full of misleading statements and half-truths.

It is true that Ms. McGuiness’s daughter worked as a temporary employee in the Auditor’s Office.  Delaware law does not prohibit family members from hiring family members, and there have been many instances of such employment all throughout state government—including in the Attorney General’s Office.  It is also true that, like millions of Americans, Ms. McGuiness’s daughter worked remotely during the COVID pandemic.  However, the Indictment’s assumption that the only way for a state worker to work remotely is by using the State’s email network is false.

Ms. McGuiness has, from time to time, hired outside contractors to perform various professional, policy-related, and communications functions for the Auditor’s Office.  Unlike the Attorney General Office, which has several full-time employees that assist with press and public relations, the Auditor’s Office does not have a full-time employee to perform those functions. 

Furthermore, unlike many other state agencies, the Auditor’s budget did not provide for a full-time policy development staffer until recently.  For these reasons, Ms. McGuiness hired an outside contractor to assist in those tasks.  The contractor in question has performed policy development services for other elected officials in Delaware before, including a former Governor.  All of the relevant contracts were entirely lawful.  There is nothing unlawful about hiring a former campaign consultant to perform legitimate tasks related to government service.  The Indictment fails to mention that the consultant has provided policy advice for elected officials all around the United States in the past and continues to do so today. 

The Witness Intimidation charge is pure fiction, and is clearly the result of fanciful tales spun by former employees with an ax to grind. 

Ms. McGuiness will continue to work hard on behalf of Delaware’s taxpayers and intends to focus on the job that she was elected to do.  She will have no further comment on this matter.  When the whole story is finally heard, the facts will speak for themselves.

(See earlier story below)

State Auditor McGuiness indicted on criminal charges

 

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