LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Davies getting raw deal

I am alarmed about the bias reflected in the news article of Aug. 23, “State auditor candidate pushes back against allegations; Report accused Kathleen Davies of misusing state job.” Buried in the reporter’s retelling of the history of disorganization in the office is the fact that Kathleen Davies was charged with trying to control the continued work of the office while State Auditor Wagner was inconsistently available to his staff.

Many of the statements in the article attacking Ms. Davies are attributed to disgruntled employees. If you are doing your job, why would you resent the presence of cameras and videos? What an objective method of demonstrating your diligence to your job! In addition, these employees were not under oath when they accused her of various over-steps as she attempted to keep the office on task while its chief administrator was in and out of the daily operations.

The reporter often omitted the important word, “alleged” when referring to the characterization of auditor Davies’ misdeeds. Why the reference to an issue as insignificant as badges for the employees? Such designations are often considered ego enhancing and proudly worn by those who have such duties.

Any of us who have worked in an office with numerous employees, know the jealousy and gossip that can undermined someone in authority, especially one who is substituting for the longtime, sickly boss.

Auditors, by nature, are detail oriented and have an understanding of the importance of accurate accounting for state expenditures. Such a characteristic is a valued trait in the role of the Auditor of Accounts. Those who do not take seriously the task of such an effort could come to resent the expected adherence to accuracy, perhaps if it differs from the longtime head of the office.

I find it very hard to believe that Kathleen Davies filtered Mr. Wagner’s emails and invitations. Why would someone want to, and even risk, such a traceable action? This charge is put forth by an employee. Perhaps it was because of Mr. Wagner’s health, if it is even true, that he was not being asked to his usual number of events. Was this action possibly suggested to Mr. Wagner by the employee? He “finally noticed” is very telling of his state of mind, as was his inability to keep the facts straight in his “confusing and sometimes contradictory testimony” at the unemployment hearing that auditor Davies won.

Finally, completely absent from this article was any reference to the audits completed by Kathleen Davies, which exposed the misuse of funds by several entities receiving money from the state. These audits were never made public. They were, in fact, left out of official reports. Why?

I suspect that her diligence in these unpopular efforts are the grounds for some of the absence of support she has received for her difficult duties in trying to balance being “second in command” with an absentee boss. Did you ask her about those unpublished, completed audits?

A better headline might have been, “Kathleen Davies brings professional efforts to leaderless Delaware Office of Auditor of Accounts.”

Jacksie A. Chatlas, MSW

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