Two state lawmakers seek probe into leaked report on State Auditor candidate

Delaware Public Media | by Sarah Mueller

Two state representatives endorsing Kathleen Davies for State Auditor are asking Delaware Attorney General Matt Denn to investigate the leak of a report criticizing her.

An article in the News Journal earlier this month cited the report that alleges Davies abused her power and failed to follow policies after Wagner placed her in charge while undergoing medical procedures. Davies’ attorney says it’s an attempt to defame and discredit her.

Democratic Reps. John Kowalko and Kim Williams say the leak of the report raises confidentiality concerns and could be illegal.

Kowalko takes aim at the News Journal, which he says is practicing sensational journalism.

“We’re not running a tabloid here,” he said. “The News Journal has a responsibility to not relegate itself to the National Enquirer status.”

News Journal Executive Director Mike Feeley staunchly defends his paper’s coverage. He said it obtained the report legally and reported on it accurately.

He adds it’s concerning that lawmakers who say they value transparent government are calling for an investigation into how it came into public view.

The Grant Thornton report was commissioned by retiring State Auditor Tom Wagner after auditing employees filed complaints with the state. Wagner placed Davies on paid leave in 2016 and fired her in 2017.

Davies said Wagner’s attorney, Kevin Slattery, has repeatly failed to provide a copy of the full report to support the allegations made against her. She also said Wagner couldn’t recall events surrounding her firing during his testimony at her unemployment hearings earlier this year.

Davies said she can’t even she can’t get a copy of the report.

“Mr. Wagner objected,” she said. “He said he didn’t know if his attorney had the correct copy of the report so apparently back in March of this year, there must have been various versions of this report, according to Mr. Wagner.”

Wagner didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Davies adds she didn’t know about the lawmakers’ letter or ask them to write it on her behalf.

Kowalko said his motivation for sending it was not to try to get a criminal investigation into possible political opponents of Davies, who may have been responsibible for leaking the report. Williams said she would ask for an investigation in any situation where a confidential report was leaked.

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Posted in News Articles.