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: