Delaware State Auditor Kathleen McGuiness turned herself in today according to 6ABC News. She posted a non-secured $50,000 bail and went free. She is NOT allowed to talk to former employees or discuss the case with current employees. McGuiness pleaded not guilty to the two felony charges and the three misdemeanor charges.
Meanwhile, legislators such as State Representatives Paul Baumbach, Eric Morrison and Madinah Wilson are calling on McGuiness to resign immediately. The Democratic Party of Delaware also called for McGuiness to resign last night. There has been no official word from Delaware Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf who helped raise McGuiness to power in The First State. Any impeachment proceedings would have to start in the Delaware House of Representatives.
Delaware State Auditor Kathleen McGuiness had her attorney issue a statement regarding the Grand Jury indictment that was announced yesterday. As predicted, her attorney, Steven Wood, denies the charges set forth against McGuiness. There has been no official announcement regarding McGuiness turning herself in.
The statement by Wood basically says the whole thing is a fabrication. It doesn’t touch on McGuiness’ daughter getting paid past her time in the office. It doesn’t even mention her doing any work for the Auditor’s office when she went back to college. It disgustingly states the ex-employees simply had an axe to grind with McGuiness.
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.
This is the part that burns me. The fact she is still able to perform her duties with the indictment hanging over her head. She should be nowhere near a penny of taxpayer money. I pray the General Assembly convenes immediately to impeach her.
Last night I remembered I actually filmed her swearing-in ceremony from January 1st, 2019. In the video she swears an oath to do her job. In another video former Delaware Governor Jack Markell gives the opening remarks for the swearing-in ceremony.
Here is the deal with McGuiness. She serves no one but herself. I’ve seen social media commentary suggesting the Democrats are out to eat one of their own. That McGuiness was getting too close to the truth. Nothing could be further from the truth. McGuiness, as reported several times, has switched political parties often. From Republican to Democrat to Independent to Republican to Democrat. Rumors have been circulating for months that McGuiness was going to take a stab at running for Delaware Governor in 2024 as a Republican. The Delaware Republicans basically told her to go away. In Delaware political circles both Democrats and Republicans just want her to leave her post and disappear. She is the shame of Delaware having been the very first statewide elected official to ever have a Grand Jury indictment against her.
Wood’s statement cannot be found in many places. The first I heard of it this morning was from an article by First State Update which leans very Republican.
Meanwhile, the very fine folks over at Delaware Liberal had their dream come true with the arrival of this picture:
Delaware Governor John Carney nominated former Brandywine Superintendent Dr. Mark Holodick as the next Delaware Secretary of Education following the “resignation” of Dr. Susan Bunting last week. Bunting will still be in the position until the end of this year.
This is a surprising choice given the Secretary of Education role pays much less than what Holodick was making as the Brandywine Superintendent. But I’m sure he will be ok.
From the official State of Delaware release:
Dr. Mark Holodick, now at the University of Delaware, spent a decade leading the Brandywine School District as Superintendent WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Tuesday announced that Dr. Mark Holodick, former superintendent of the Brandywine School District, will be nominated to serve as next Secretary of the Delaware Department of Education (DOE).Governor Carney’s nomination must be approved by the Delaware Senate. “Dr. Holodick spent a decade leading the Brandywine School District and understands what it takes to create a culture where all students and educators can succeed,” said Governor Carney. “His experience as Superintendent of Brandywine, and before that as a principal, will help him support school leaders and educators across our state. As Secretary, he will continue focusing our efforts to support our most disadvantaged students and make sure that all Delaware children are getting the education they deserve. I want to thank Mark for his willingness to serve, and members of the Senate for considering his nomination.” Last year, Holodick joined the Delaware Academy for School Leadership at the University of Delaware, where he leads coaching and professional development programs for principals and other school and district leaders. He had been Superintendent of the Brandywine School District since 2009, overseeing 16 schools with more than 10,000 students. Previously, Holodick was principal at Concord High School and at a blended middle and high school in the Delmar School District. Holodick was named Administrator of the Year in 2016 by the Delaware Association of Educational Office Professionals and Superintendent of the Year in 2017 by the Delaware Chief School Officers Association.“I appreciate being given the opportunity to work collaboratively with educators and stakeholders across Delaware with a focus on improving opportunities and outcomes for all students,” said Holodick. “If confirmed by the Senate, I will assume the position of Secretary with much gratitude and enthusiasm.”