A prominent attorney, who's been a part of some of the most high-profile cases in the state, wants to be Delaware's top law enforcer.
Thomas Neuberger told WDEL he never imagined running for Delaware attorney general until Tim Mullaney, a former county official under the Tom Gordon administration, announced he'd run for the office.
"I represented various people who wore the wire for the FBI back during the years when Tim Mullaney was the county attorney for New Castle County during the first [Tom] Gordon and [Sherry] Freebery administration--that's when the county was buffeted by FBI investigations, federal corruption charges, criminal proceedings, many civil lawsuits I brought by police officers for the county, FBI informants, and other whistleblowers," he said. "Tim Mullaney has a big taint on his history, and he would be a terrible attorney general."
"It is too important who is the attorney general, he is the chief law enforcer of the state--you cannot be tainted by the past that Tim Mullaney was involved with," he said.
Neuberger, who's been in private practice for more than three decades, said he'll run as a Republican. His announcement came a few months after Democratic Attorney General Matt Denn said he would not seek a second term in August.
He's representing the hostages and the survivors of Lt. Steven Floyd, killed during an overnight prison riot, in a civil lawsuit against the state of Delaware, its former governors, and the Delaware Department of Correction.
"I am privy to the unimaginable torture that occurred before Lt. Steven Floyd was slain," he said. "The attorney general has indicted 16 people--and four of them are serving life sentences without the possibility of parole--so they get convicted of murder, what can happen to them? Nothing."
He said he'd push to alter Delaware's death penalty law to make it constitutional once again.
"The three Wilmington firefighter who died over a year ago in the arson case, the murder trial for them starts in March," he said. "The murder trial for the prison hostage takers will be set for sometime probably next year. We need a death penalty in place so that a jury of 12 reasonable people--if they feel the situation requires it--can administer the death penalty--otherwise, how are we going to protect the public from the terrible situations that can arise? What if we had a mass killing in Delaware? God forbid."
Neuberger has also represented the family of Jeremy McDole in their wrongful death lawsuit against the Wilmington Police Department. The wheelchair-bound McDole was shot and killed by Wilmington Police during a confrontation in September of 2015. The lawsuit led to the police department adopting a new use of force policy.
He and his son, Stephen Neuberger, also represented victims of priest sex abuse in a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington.
His platform will also focus on protecting women from sexual harassment in the workplace in the wake of the Hollywood scandal. He said workplace discrimination laws in Delaware are weak and ineffective, and he'll change them.
"A tipping point has occurred in the sexual harassment in the workplace--all that's been revealed in Hollywood and the #MeToo movement--women are finally outing sexual predators."
Next week, he plans to release the Delaware Prevention of Sexual and Racial Harassment Act.
"Absent a woman being raped in the workplace, 90 percent of all cases by women when they're touched, they're abused, get thrown out by the courts because the courts have set a too stringent test to protect women," he told WDEL.
The attorney said Delaware law mirrors federal law on this issue, and he'll work with the General Assembly to change it.
"What does severe mean? Severe to the court means a rape. But if you get felt up in the workplace...it's not severe, your case will be thrown out. What's pervasive mean? It shouldn't be a judge from an elite background deciding what pervasive means--a jury of 12 wise people should be making those decisions," he said.
If elected, Neuberger said his private practice would continue on with his son, and while it'd be hard to leave decades of work, he said he'd push for things that have been "lost" in the attorney general's office.
"I think I've got a lot of name recognition, and probably, you either like me or dislike me or whatever. I don't think it's any more difficult than any other battle," he laughed.
Mullaney, who also served as former deputy chief of staff for the Delaware Department of Justice, plans to run as a Democrat; he hasn't responded to repeated requests for an interview to discuss his candidacy since he announced on October 19, 2017.