Embattled ex-deputy treasurer no longer on state payroll
By Amy Cherry

Updated Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 1:26pm

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Treasurer Chip Flowers defends his former deputy treasurer, who resigned under fire and is now off state payroll, at a news conference in Dover.

Ex deputy treasurer Erika Benner is no longer on the state payroll, and the state treasurer calls the case "closed."

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

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Despite the fact that she used her state credit card for personal charges, Treasurer Chip Flowers defends what he called her “good employment record.”

"She protected hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars from money deposited by the unelected cash board in a failing bank," he says.

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He says Benner also shut down what he calls the cash board's "good ole boys network."

"Without her actions, if that bank would have failed, taxpayers would have lost hundreds of millions," says Flowers.

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Flowers says while this doesn't make her wrongs right, Benner wasn't treated fairly. He says she was questioned without a lawyer.

"We call that, in my neighborhood, a shakedown. She was treated so poorly her story is eligible for a movie on the Lifetime channel says Flowers.

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Flowers says she was caught in the crossfire between the governor and a Treasurer, and now he says the political theater is over, and the matter is closed.

"To the budget office and my friend, director Ann Visalli, please don't find some creative way to keep this process going," he says.

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Citing the campaign finance scandal, Flowers ended with a personal message to Gov. Markell:

"I hope that you, your wife and your kids never, never have to experience the way you treated Ms. Benner and her family," Flowers says.

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Benner, who was rumored to be at the news conference in Dover never showed. A spokeswoman for the state treasury says Benner declined her invitation.



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