Common Cause Delaware Urges Creation of Inspector General’s Office
After a change of venue, Delaware’s elected state Auditor, Kathleen K. McGuiness, was re-indicted yesterday on charges including conflict-of-interest (nepotism), felony theft, non-compliance with procurement law, official misconduct, and felony witness intimidation.
Statement of Common Cause Delaware Executive Director Claire Snyder-Hall
Public service is supposed to be about serving the public.
Elected officials are not supposed to use their power to benefit their children, line the pockets of their political supporters, or treat their elected office as a personal fiefdom. We’ve all watched a high-profile example of such behavior in recent years – but it’s still not right.
If the charges leveled against the Auditor are true, they are a particularly egregious violation of the public trust. Delaware’s Auditor is supposed to protect our taxpayer dollars from misuse. Our state officials are supposed to act in the public’s interest, not their own.
Delawareans shouldn’t have to wonder what our elected officials are up to, or whose interests are being served. We deserve to have confidence that our tax dollars are being well-spent, and that our government officials are serving our interests, not their own interests or other private interests.
That’s why Common Cause Delaware strongly supports the creation of an Inspector General’s office in the First State. Right now there is bipartisan legislative support for creating an IG that is independent, non-partisan, and appointed on the basis of professional qualifications, rather than simply elected. We need an IG that focuses on exposing public corruption in state agencies and state-funded entities, so that voters can be more confident that public officials are serving the public’s interests, rather than their own.