Corruption News

Ex-aide admits lied to grand jury in auditor corruption case


DOVER, Del. (AP) — A former chief of staff to Delaware State Auditor Kathy McGuiness admitted during testimony in her criminal corruption trial Thursday that he lied under oath to a grand jury that was investigating McGuiness.

Thomas Van Horn acknowledged under cross-examination by the defense that he told the grand jury in April 2021 that McGuiness had fired him a month earlier because of “disagreements” they had.

In fact, McGuiness asked Van Horn to resign because he had been in a sexual relationship with a subordinate staffer.

Van Horn also acknowledged that he never volunteered information to prosecutors and investigators about his relationship with Rachel King, who also is expected to testify. Instead, he claimed that he was terminated because McGuiness had heard a “potential rumor of a sexual relationship” with someone in the office, and that he might be a victim of “defamation.”

“When you said it was a rumor, that was a lie, because it was a true story, wasn’t it?” defense attorney Steve Wood asked Van Horn.

“Yes,” replied Van Horn, who moments later contradicted himself and denied any sexual relationship.

“What is the definition of a sexual relationship?” asked Van Horn, who in earlier testimony agreed with prosecutor Mark Denney that his former relationship with King could be described as “romantic.” In a recorded interview earlier this year, he told Denney that he and King “made out here and there” but never had a sexual relationship.

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