Judge denies McGuiness motion to dismiss contract charge

Trial still set to begin May 31
May 20, 2022

A judge has denied State Auditor Kathy McGuiness’ request to dismiss a charge that she structured a contract with a consulting company in order to avoid state review.

In the order filed May 13, Superior Court Judge William C. Carpenter Jr. writes that the five-count indictment filed against McGuiness in 2021 clearly explains the charge of noncompliance with procurement law that she faces.

“The indictment specifically alleges that the defendant split payments due under the [My Campaign Group] contract into amounts less than $5,000 to evade Division of Accounting review,” he wrote. “The indictment provides specific dates, amounts of payments and invoices, sources of funding, and recipients of those funds.”

Through her position as state auditor, court records state, McGuiness entered into a contract for communication services with My Campaign Group for $45,000. The contract did not require public bidding because it was less than the $50,000 threshold, records state.

McGuiness filed a motion to dismiss the charge in April saying the state failed to show that McGuiness structured two or more no-bid contracts, and which section of the law was violated.

McGuiness also said she was not given enough time to defend herself against the charge.

The judge ruled the state will have to prove in trial what section of the law was violated, and also ruled that McGuiness has had time to establish a defense against the charge.

“In fact, in the pandemic world in which the court is attempting to schedule cases for trial, she has fared better than most, and the critical timing of whether she can seek re-election has prioritized her case over many others,” Carpenter wrote. “She has no basis to complain, and this assertion by the defendant is totally without merit.”

McGuiness has pleaded not guilty to all charges, and her trial is set to begin Tuesday, May 31 in Wilmington.


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