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Defamation lawsuit filed against AG Kathy Jennings by former DE Auditor Kathy McGuiness

State Auditor Kathy McGuiness (right) and her attorney Steve Wood speak after the verdict in McGuiness' public corruption trial
Rachel Sawicki
Delaware Public Media
State Auditor Kathy McGuiness (right) and her attorney Steve Wood speak after the verdict in McGuiness' public corruption trial

Former Delaware Auditor Kathy McGuiness files a defamation lawsuit against Attorney General Kathy Jennings and state law enforcement officials.

The lawsuit alleges violations of McGuiness’s constitutional rights tied to her public corruption trial last year where she was convicted of three misdemeanors.

The judge threw out one conviction and the remaining two have been appealed to the Delaware Supreme Court.

The lawsuit claims Jennings and former state prosecutor Mark Denney defamed McGuiness in announcing criminal charges against her in a press conference.

It also claims the false statements helped ruin her political career. She lost in the primary election following the trial.

"Mrs McGuiness's career was derailed not because voters decided she was doing a good job. It was derailed because you had the top law enforcement officials in the state of Delaware charging her based on at least a large portion of the charges were based on false information," said Ron Poliquin, the attorney representing Kathy McGuiness.

He explains what McGuiness is seeking.

"There's monetary damages, but there's also a request that there be a decision by either a judge or a jury that Mrs. McGuiness's constitutional rights were violated when the chief investigator - Frank Robinson - admitted that he provided false information to the court which was the basis of a large portion of the criminal charges against Miss McGuiness," said Poliquin.

“This is yet another sad, desperate, and wasteful attempt by the ex-Auditor to change the consequences of her actions. We’ve heard this tirade before. It was rejected and she was convicted by a jury of her peers. That she continues to proclaim her innocence is not news,” said Delaware DOJ spokesperson Mat Marshall in a written statement.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.