Delaware auditor running for re-election despite calls to leave

By Craig Anderson
Posted 7/1/22

DOVER — She’s now convicted and still a candidate too.

After being found guilty Friday of three misdemeanors related to her time in office, State Auditor Kathy McGuiness was asked by …

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Delaware auditor running for re-election despite calls to leave

Posted

DOVER — She’s now convicted and still a candidate too.

After being found guilty Friday of three misdemeanors related to her time in office, State Auditor Kathy McGuiness was asked by media about the status of her campaign as she stood outside the Kent County Courthouse..

To which, the Rehoboth Beach Democrat answered “Currently, yes, I’m running for re-election.”

Ms. McGuiness filed to run again for state auditor on May 3.

The state auditor was found guilty of conflict of interest: violation of the state officials code of conduct, structuring: non-compliance with procurement law, and official misconduct.

The jury deemed Ms. McGuiness not guilty of felony theft and act of intimidation.

As to the jury’s decision and how it would affect her election hopes, Ms. McGuiness said, “I would have preferred a different verdict.”

Democrat Lydia York, of Wilmington, entered the race on June 27.

Janice Lorrah, a Hockessin Republican, is running as well, and filed on April 14.

Following the announcement, Ms. Lorrah released a statement that read, in part, “Politics as usual hurts hard-working Delaware taxpayers. Delaware needs a change and I’m offering voters an alternative as an outsider with a fresh perspective who will restore transparency and accountability and bring confidence back to our government.”

The statewide primary election is set for Sept. 13, with the statewide general election slated for Nov. 8.

Soon after the verdict was announced, Delaware Senate Pro Tempore Dave Sokola, Majority Leader Bryan Townsend and Majority Whip Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman, all of the Democratic Senate Majority Caucus, issued a joint statement calling for Ms. McGuiness to resign immediately.

The statement read:

“Today, a Kent County jury found State Auditor Kathy McGuiness guilty on three counts that, taken together, show a brazen willingness to circumvent the same open government laws and accounting standards she was elected to enforce.

“When Auditor McGuiness was charged in November, the Senate Majority Caucus immediately called on her to take a leave of absence, citing concerns about her ability to execute her official duties given the gravity of the transgressions outlined in the indictment.

“Now that she has been found guilty of official misconduct, illegally structuring contracts to flout procurement laws, and conflict of interest, we call on her to resign immediately. Any public official engaged in these behaviors is unfit for public office, but especially the state’s top financial watchdog.

“While Auditor McGuiness considers her options and political future, the Delaware State Senate will carefully consider its constitutional role in ensuring accountability and that the best interests of Delawareans are served.”