Disgraced Delaware Auditor Tom Wagner Quashed “Kickbacks” Investigation

Filed in National by on April 28, 2011

In addition to suppressing an audit that showed his friend and fellow Republican, Dick Cathcart’s involvement in possibly illegal procurement activity at DSU, disgraced Delaware Auditor Tom Wagner removed a forensic accountant from the case who was investigating “kickbacks” involved in the $1.5 million procurement scheme. By doing so, Wagner derailed a criminal investigation into DSU’s procurement practices.

The NJ’s Wade McCullum repots:

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.

Hicks blamed Wagner for not getting to the bottom of the alleged kickbacks. Hicks said he split the kickback allegations into a separate investigation led by the office’s forensic accountant. He said Wagner pulled the accountant off the investigation.

“I decided there was no way I was going to get this report issued with the kickback allegation in there,” Hicks said. “The procurement allegation was more straightforward, and I knew DSU would admit it had done wrong. I decided, ‘Let’s not let the kickback allegation blow up the rest of the report.’ I knew that would be the more challenging one politically.”

Wagner asserts that the “kickbacks” audit was not quashed. Whether or not Wagner or Hicks’ version is correct, the fact remains that, having opened a criminal investigation, the AG’s waited in vain for Wagner to provide them with a forensic audit that never materialized.

“The Attorney General’s Office assigned a case number and opened an preliminary investigation awaiting the results of the DSU audit, Mullaney said.

“We anticipated a criminal investigation,” he said. “That’s based on the representations made to us from the auditor’s office.”

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Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (15)

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  1. anon says:

    If only all of this news had broken last year.

    Perhaps we need the Attorney General to audit the auditor.

  2. anon 2 says:

    quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    We do.

  3. sussexanon says:

    Ok, so whats the move? Political pressure? Protests? I don’t know if there is an impeachment or recall process in Delaware, is there?

    There is a list forming of Wagners performance. From incompetence to possible politically motivated decisions.

    Apparently Richard Korns charge of “This man (Wagner) is not doing his job” is proving to be just the tip of the iceberg.

  4. There’s no recall. But, at some point, the pressure could well be too great for Wagner to continue in office. Especially if more cases of this kind surface, which is quite possible. Which could lead to his name being floated in investigations.

    Since Wagner is a quintessential ‘Delaware Way’ pol, he’s probably quashed stuff from politicos of both parties. It’s hard to believe that this is an isolated incident. Especially since he passed on investigating Vince Lofink’s kid, and kicked that one to then-Finance Secretary Richard Cordrey.

    If Wagner is forced from office, I believe that Gov. Markell would name a replacement who would serve until the next election, just as it was with Velda Jones-Potter. I would certainly appoint Hicks as the Auditor, and really scare the crap out of all the Delaware Way public officials.

    I’ve written a lot here about how the auditor should basically be a prick who doesn’t care how well liked he/she is. Their job should be to protect the public from exactly these types of abuses. Problem is, it’s hard for pricks to get elected. Which is why I hope Markell appoints one, should he get the chance.

  5. anon says:

    I dont think it would be fair to give the job to Hicks. Richard Korn ran against him….he should be the first choice in my humble opinion. Let Hicks run for office like everyone else. I do appreciate Hicks and think him an honorable man..but Korn actually paid the money, ran a campaign unlike Hicks.

  6. jason330 says:

    Hello match. Have you met gasoline? Allow me to…

  7. KathyJ says:

    “…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….”

    How is it that you don’t “report back” when subpoened?

  8. M. McKain says:

    Any chance of impeachment in the legislature? I’m fairly sure the Delaware Constitution provides for it, and just starting the process might spur a resignation, which apparently is needed if this information is true.

  9. jason330 says:

    I didn’t write it in the post this morning, but I like how Wagner whines about being picked on. I have an cure for that Tom: DO YOUR GOTDAM JOB. A surefire way to avoid being picked on is to do what the voters selected you to do.

    A NJ commenter had a similar thought:

    What business executive in his right mind would say “Under my watch, I was not in control, I let others tell me the facts, I thought they were incompetent, but I did not check on them”? Is this Delaware or Enron? Does R. Thomas Wagner believe for one second that this is an acceptable excuse?

    My God, you are the head auditor. What are you doing? Not your job auditing the work of your employees? You let your employees tell you what you want or don’t want to know and you don’t do any type of audit yourself?

    Please, don’t go to work for a bank. You would be spinning counter clockwise dealing with Sarbanes-Oxley, GAAP, Internal auditors, external auditors, compliance, Loss protection, and every department that depends on you for reports to the board and the stockholders. “My employee was incompetent is your excuse?”

    The incompetent one is you R. Thomas Wagner. You are the head auditor. You set the standard and the policies; and you just admitted you were asleep at the switch. Sorry, but you caused this train wreck.

    Now put on your big boy pants and accept the responsibility. You don’t deserve clemency or consideration. You deserve to be fired with no pension, since you were not doing the job you were supposed to do, and you may even deserve jail time.

    Please pack up your desk and get out, before you are forcefully walked to the door and your personal items will be shipped to you.

  10. Jefferson says:

    If Wagner resigns Hicks, or someone like him, should get that job under the assumption this individual would be a placeholder. Even if that person decided to change their mind and run a la Velda that would be better than installing an individual like Korn and conferring the advantage of incumbency on him. Let voters decided who they want their “long-term” auditor to be in 2014. Keep in mind Korn had all the advantages of establishment support yet did not beat his primary opponent by a large margin. Had Matlusky been given a fair shake he could have won the primary and Matlusky probably would have defeated Wagner in the general election. Wagner was very effective with voters when he attacked Korn for not having an auditing background. That argument obviously could not be made vis-a-vis Matlusky. Matlusky was a poor speaker but no one saw the candidates for auditor speak, other than the WDEL debate.

    Will Wagner resign? I doubt it. Will people remember this in 2014? We shall see. Wagner has been in office since the 80’s. It is hard to predict what may happen in 3 years but I would hardly be surprised if he chooses not to run for re-election.

  11. Aoine says:


    there sure is:


    § 1. Impeachment power of House; trial by Senate; oath of Senators; vote; presiding officers.

    Section 1. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeaching; but two-thirds of all the members must concur in an impeachment. All impeachments shall be tried by the Senate, and when sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be upon oath or affirmation to do justice according to the evidence. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Senators.

    On the trial of an impeachment against the Governor or Lieutenant-Governor, the Chief Justice, or, in case of his or her absence or disability, the Chancellor shall preside; and on the trial of all other impeachments the President of the Senate shall preside.

    § 2. Grounds for impeachment.

    Section 2. The Governor and all other civil officers under this State shall be liable to impeachment for treason, bribery, or any high crime or misdemeanor in office. Judgment in such cases shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold any office of honor, trust or profit, under this State; but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment according to law.

    § 3. Treason.

    Section 3. Treason against this State shall consist only in levying war against it, or in adhering to the enemies of the Government, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act or on confession in open court.

    Have at it………

  12. anon says:

    Tom Wagner is now part owner – invested in – a Hotel on Route 13 in Dover, reportedly in exchange for his influence in steering state electrical and engineering contracts to the primary owners of the Hotel who also own electrical/engineering companies and recently received another state contract. How many more (what aqppears to be)illegal finacial “investment” arrangements such as this is Tom Wagner invested?

  13. jason330 says:

    I’d like to see a link, or some details, but it fits the GOP’s MO. If you are a Republican office holder who is not making some money from influence, you are doing it wrong.

  14. ALL SEEING says:

    The Attorney General should be all over this. No if ands or but.

  15. skippertee says:

    Listen…..is that the opening strains of Wagner’s “The Ride of the Valkyries” I hear?
    Could the fat ladies’ singing be far behind?
    Do the right thing for Delaware citizens, Tom.
    Fall on your sword.
    The sooner, the better.