Delaware Ethics Statutes
In 2015 the Center for Public Integrity gave Delaware an F, ranking the First State 48th in systems to deter corruption in state government. The report characterized ethics enforcement in Delaware as “anemic”.
Members of the Delaware General Assembly have chosen to exempt themselves from the “State Employees’, Officers’ and Officials’ Code of Conduct” and from oversight by the Public Integrity Commission (PIC).
Following the Center for Public Integrity’s 2015 report, Senator Bryan Townsend introduced bills in both 2016 and 2017 which would eliminate the exemption of General Assembly members from ethics oversite. These bills didn’t even get a committee hearing.
According to Deborah Moreau, the Public Integrity Commission’s lawyer, “that leaves the Delaware General Assembly with something of an honor system when it comes to public ethics laws.” This exemption should be eliminated, and the Delaware PIC should be adequately funded to provide effective ethics oversight for all public officials including members of the General Assembly.
Below are profiles of four Delaware legislators who have demonstrated ethical lapses: