Sen. Hall-Long: 'Husband and I pulled into feud' over illegal campaigning allegations
Accusations that her husband illegally campaigned for her two years ago using confidential, low-income housing contact information are false, according to state Sen. Bethany Hall-Long (D-Middletown).
Hall-Long is rejecting allegations her husband Dana stole phone numbers from a New Castle County Section 8 housing database to phone bank for her in 2014 – an election she barely won.
“What adds to my anger is that the accusations made against us are completely untrue and it is a nameless, politically motivated source who is manipulating the media to tell a story that just doesn’t exist," she said, noting that she wasn't aware of the situation until earlier this week.
Those questions surfaced after audio tapes released to Wilmington-area radio station WDEL and The News Journal depict County Executive Tom Gordon saying he’d fire Long, who works as a county inspector, if he weren’t married to a high-ranking politician.
Hall-Long, who’s now running for lieutenant governor, says a formal complaint was never filed, but a comment from a housing voucher recipient last year prompted an HR investigation that she says cleared him completely.
“It’s very clear that is an HR, county, personnel issue. My husband has made a statement. The county has released their position that that was handled [internally] with the HR review and there was no foundation whatsoever to that accusation."
She says she and her husband can’t release any documents proving as much, since it’s a confidential county matter, nor will she push him to speak to the media himself.
Dana Long was arrested for stealing Republican Party yard signs during that same 2014 election.
In a call with reporters, Hall-Long said the release of the tapes was politically motivated, hinting at an ongoing feud between Gordon and David Grimaldi, his former Chief Administrative Officer whom he fired last year.
“I don’t want to comment other than to say that the accusations were false. People know me for what I stand for and my work in the community, and petty politics and others could certainly be driving this.”
Gordon says his recorded comments were inappropriate, but that he didn’t seek to cover up the situation. Grimaldi is currently suing the county for wrongful termination.