Delaware Senate leader investigated for possible conflict of interest

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March 30, 2011

Delaware

DOVER, Delaware: State Senate President Pro Tempore Anthony DeLuca (D) has come under federal scrutiny for his second job at the state Department of Labor. These two positions may create a conflict of interest, which could be in violation of the federal Hatch Act. The Hatch Act regulates how state and local officials are allowed to hold dual government positions, and was created to prevent personal and political gain.[1]

DeLuca was first elected to the Delaware Senate in 1998. He served as Majority Whip from 2003-2006 and Majority Leader from 2007-2009 before assuming his current role.[2] In 2005 he was hired as an administrator in the state Office of Labor Law Enforcement. An internal flow chart from 2006 lists DeLuca as in charge of personnel matters involving the discrimination program. This program receives at least $250,000 worth of federal contracts a year.

Under the Hatch Act, elected officials with jobs involving federal funds are not allowed to run for re-election. As DeLuca ran for re-election in 2008, this could be an issue. However, DeLuca has previously said that he knew of the possible conflict, and to that end, his office at the labor department was moved and his duties altered in March 2007. At this point it is not clear what his exact duties are. He earns $62,643 per year as Senate President Pro Tempore, and an additional $68,913 in his role at the labor department.

In December 2010, DeLuca retained his leadership position in the Senate despite being challenged by members of his own caucus. Fellow Democrat Karen Peterson alleged DeLuca abused his power and misused taxpayer money by ordering a $46,000 renovation to his legislative office, and that he his leadership style often leads to the chamber being "run as a dictatorship instead of being run as a democracy.”[3]

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