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State Auditor corruption case now in the jury's hands

Rachel Sawicki
Delaware Public Media
State Auditor Kathy McGuiness arrives at the Kent County Courthouse for the last day of trial arguments. With her are daughter Elizabeth "Saylar" McGuiness and her attorney Steve Wood.

Arguments in State Auditor Kathy McGuiness corruption trial are complete after 11 days - and the case is in the hands of the jury.

Jurors did not reach a verdict before being dismissed for the day Thursday afternoon. They resume deliberations Friday morning at 9:30.

Prosecutor Mark Denney revisited evidence related to the conflict of interest charge pointing to McGuiness benefitting personally and politically by hiring her daughter and her former campaign consultant. If she is found guilty on any of the first 3 charges, the jury can put the fourth count, official misconduct, on the table as well.

Defense attorney Steve Wood told jurors in his closing statement that prosecution could not be trusted, and it withheld or hid evidence.

He also called the investigation incompetant, incomplete, and biased - emphasizing the search warrant containing false statements and how Chief Special Investigator Frank Robinson did not reveal the true intentions of his calls to other employees in the Auditor’s office.

It’s uncertain how long the jury will need to reach a verdict, but Judge William Carpenter noted jurors are likely motivated finish before the holiday weekend.

Denney refuted Wood’s claim the state attempted to hide evidence, noting most defense documents were presented without objection.

He added the state took responsibility for the mistakes in the search warrant, but says it wasn’t needed to obtain the documents.

Rachel Sawicki is Delaware Public Media's New Castle County Reporter. They are non-binary and use they/them pronouns.