Auditor’s top assistant, on leave, eyes run for office

Kathleen Davies

DOVER — The top unelected official in the Delaware Auditor of Accounts Office has filed paperwork to explore a campaign for the auditor’s post, even though she says she has been on administrative leave for nearly a year and half.

Kathleen Davies, the chief administrative auditor for the office, submitted paperwork with the Department of Elections Monday creating a committee to raise money for a campaign. Ms. Davies has been on paid leave since May 2016, but she declined to detail why.

A spokesman for Auditor Tom Wagner declined comment.

In July 2016, the News Journal, citing sources, reported Ms. Davies was being investigated over travel reimbursements.

The elected Delaware auditor is responsible for rooting out fraud, waste and abuse revolving around taxpayer dollars.

Ms. Davies joined the office in 2010 after spending two years with the New Jersey state comptroller. Her name was removed from the auditor’s website in 2016 on either May 17 or May 18.

According to state payroll data, Ms. Davies made about $120,500 in 2015. Mr. Wagner is being paid $110,700 this fiscal year.

Ms. Davies declined to comment on whether she thinks Mr. Wagner has done a good job as auditor. Mr. Wagner, a Republican who has been in the position since 1989, has not publicly said if he will run again, and efforts to contact him to determine his plans have been unsuccessful.

Ms. Davies is running as an unaffiliated candidate, meaning she needs a petition with about 6,900 signatures to be placed on the ballot.

She said she has confidence she can win even without the backing of any political party and described the position of auditor as one that “requires independence.”

Ms. Davies said people have asked her to run over the years and she feels now is the right time to take the plunge.

“It’s natural step in my career. I have 25 years-plus experience in government auditing and investigations and I feel as though I’m qualified, experienced and motivated, and I’d like to be considered for state auditor,” she said.

Staff writer Matt Bittle can be reached at 741-8250 or mbittle@newszap.com. Follow @MatthewCBittle on Twitter.

You are encouraged to leave relevant comments but engaging in personal attacks, threats, online bullying or commercial spam will not be allowed. All comments should remain within the bounds of fair play and civility. (You can disagree with others courteously, without being disagreeable.) Feel free to express yourself but keep an open mind toward finding value in what others say. To report abuse or spam, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box.

Facebook Comment