July 22nd: Updates from Senator Pettyjohn

Posted on 07-27-2022

Senate Republicans Issue Statement Regarding SCR 128

King’s Ice Cream’s 50th Anniversary

Constituent Coffee Wrap Up

Thank you to everyone who attended my constituent coffee meeting last Saturday! I appreciate the robust conversations we had surrounding the legislation from the last weeks of session, the state budget and more. Details about August’s coffee meeting will be announced in the coming weeks.

Below is the statement our caucus release shortly after Monday’s special session was announced.

This afternoon, the Senate President Pro Tempore, David Sokola, announced the Delaware State Senate will reconvene on Monday, July 25, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. to consider Senate Concurrent Resolution 128 (SCR 128). SCR 128 provides notice of hearings to begin the process of removing Auditor of Accounts Kathleen McGuiness from office.

Our caucus maintains the same position that we did when the initial, and later withdrawn, charges were announced: Auditor McGuiness is entitled to due process. In its press release on July 5, 2022, Governor Carney’s office stated, “However, it is the Governor’s responsibility under the law to await the final determination of the court and then to determine his constitutional obligations after the entry of judgment.” Likewise, the introduction and debate of SCR 128 is premature. The continued push for removal prior to the conclusion of a criminal trial is troubling and strikes at the bedrock principal of the presumption of innocence.

While Auditor McGuiness was found guilty of three misdemeanors by a jury of her peers, the trial court judge has yet to enter the verdict of the jury and multiple motions remain open, including those to dismiss the charges altogether. Until those rulings by the trial judge are made, the General Assembly should not be entertaining the idea of removing a duly elected official.

As is the case with any citizen of this state, the Auditor has the absolute right to due process as guaranteed in the United States Constitution.

If the trial judge enters the jury’s verdict and she is convicted of the crimes, then Auditor of Accounts Kathleen McGuiness should resign or be removed from office. However, beginning the process of removing an individual who was duly elected by the People before the case is adjudicated is premature at best. Due Process, as well as the presumption of innocence, applies to everyone.
On Saturday, July 16th, Senator Ernie Lopez, Representative Smyk, and I presented King’s Ice Cream with a tribute celebrating their 50th anniversary. Their business is a staple in Milton and I make it a point to stop by whenever I’m in town!