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State Auditor Kathy McGuiness moves to dismiss another charge in her case

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Courtesy of McGuiness campaign
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State Auditor Kathy McGuiness and her legal team look to dismiss another charge against her.

McGuiness’ lawyer, Steven Wood, argues the state has failed to make clear what law the state auditor broke in the third count against her.

The state claims McGuiness entered into a $45,000 contract with her former campaign consulting firm, but payments outside of that deal put the total above $50,000. Contracts for that amount or more must be submitted for public bidding.

Additionally, payments over $5,000 require approval from the Division of Accounting, and the state alleges McGuiness distributed the payments in amounts less than $5,000 to avoid compliance, which is in violation of state law.

Wood says the state Budget and Accounting manual defines the dividing of any contract into two or more – with the intent to avoid compliance with these bidding requirements – in violation of state code. But McGuiness did not divide the contract. And while she may have run afoul of the manual, Wood claims she did not commit a crime.

Wood added that McGuiness has faced numerous demands to resign from members of the General Assembly, who he says are prejudice for jumping to such demands before she has had a chance to prove her innocence.

The judge will decide whether or not to dismiss the count in the following weeks, and has not yet decided whether to dismiss another charge, a felony act of intimidation, which was discussed at a hearing on April 7.

McGuiness’ trial is scheduled to begin on May 31, and could last as long as nine days.

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