No indictments expected from campaign finance fraud investigation

By Chris Carl 3:59pm, May 16, 2013
The point man on the state's investigation into campaign finance irregularities tells WDEL his team has not found any instances of bribery of public officials.

Retired Supreme Court Chief Justice Norman Veasey says he has found politicians who didn't properly report receiving gifts, but that doesn't constitute bribery.

"Bribery is something you have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was an understanding that the agreed exchange was something valuable in return for a public favor. We have not found anybody who should be indicted for the felony of bribery," Veasey tells WDEL.

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But he says there were irregularities when it comes to politicians reporting gifts they received.

"We have a Public Integrity Commission where those gifts are required to be - if they're over $250 - are required to be disclosed so the public can see what they are. And they were not always disclosed," Veasey says.

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Veasey, along with a team that includes two Delaware State Police troopers, has been working on this for nearly two years. He says they've conducted 75 interviews and logged more than 6,500 man hours. Veasey says he can't put an exact number on how much the investigation has cost, but he believes it's in the range of $700,000. A draft report has been produced, but Veasey calls it "incomplete."

Speaking on WDEL's Rick Jensen Show, Veasey wouldn't name names yet, because the investigation is still ongoing.

"Politicians as to whom the statue of limitations has run. And then there are other politicians who received gifts, and that's part of the 'pay to play,' and that will be covered in our report," Veasey says.

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Veasey says his report, which is expected this summer, will contain recommendations for reform.

"We need a more wholesome culture in Delaware and try to get away from a 'pay to play' syndrome," Veasey says.

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The issue came to light when liquor distributor Chris Tigani was found to have made illegal campaign contributions to several political candidates, including Vice President Biden.

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