State Auditor McGuiness found guilty on 3 misdemeanor counts

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Delaware State Auditor Kathy McGuiness was convicted on three charges related to her conduct in office by a Kent County Superior Court jury.

McGuiness has denied the charges and is seeking re-election. She is expected to appeal.

The verdict came despite missteps by the prosecution and an aggressive defense mounted by McGuiness’ lawyer Steven Wood. There had been speculation that McGuiness might be able to get a not guilty verdict on all charges.

McGuiness is believed to be the first statewide officeholder to be found guilty in a trial.

Attorney General Kathy Jennings, issued the following statement:

“From the moment I took office, I promised that no one would be either above the law or beneath Justice. Today’s guilty verdict confirmed that. After weeks or grueling trial and mistreatment of whistleblowers, the state auditor — whose job is to protect our state from waste, fraud, and abuse – has been found guilty of three crimes by a jury of her peers. 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.”

The verdict was handed down after McGuines’ attorney successfully argued that the case should be moved to Kent County from New Castle County since that was where her actions took place. The judge agreed and charges were quickly refiled.