DE Auditor Fails to Pursue Kickbacks

More than a year after receiving complaints about kickbacks from a contractor to Delaware State University employees, the state auditor's office has failed to adequately investigate the allegations, according to an outside review.

Auditor R. Thomas Wagner's office requested subpoenas for bank records to explore complaints that DSU facilities staff members accepted free services on their cars and homes from a heating, ventilation and air conditioning vendor, according to the documents.

DSU's facilities and purchasing are run by fellow Republican Richard C. Cathcart, a powerful former legislator and political friend of Wagner's.

The Attorney General's Office executed several subpoenas at the request of auditors and opened an investigation in early 2010, said Timothy P. Mullaney Sr., the attorney general's chief of staff. But the auditor's office never reported back, Mullaney said.

Wagner blamed the lack of progress in the investigation on sloppy work by his staff, led by former Deputy Auditor Robert Hicks. Hicks, fired by Wagner in January, said Wagner stalled the report to protect Cathcart, a former House majority leader.

Cathcart said he would not comment.


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