Andria Bennett and her conflict of interest

Many members of the General Assembly have other jobs. As we have seen with State Representative David Bentz’s decision to not run for reelection, it is tough to live exclusively on the salary for serving in the General Assembly.

Delaware Liberal reported last month that State Representative Andria Bennett has taken a new “second” job, where she will be the City Clerk of Dover. The position is basicaly the top administrative position in the City, like a City Manager. Her salary will be over $100,000.00.

Now, I do not begrudge Andria Bennett taking this job. She might actually be qualified for it and may well do a good job in it. The problem is that she cannot stay a State Representative and be a City Clerk at the same time, which seems to be her plan for the next year (not running for reelection but not resigning from the House either, which would keep her in her seat until November 2022).

It is a direct conflict of interest. She currently serves on the Bond Bill Comittee, which determines funding for muncipalities in the State, while also working for a muncipality. Recusal from any votes concerning Dover is insufficient to address that conflict, since the valid assumption will be that Bennett will make her wishes for Dover to be known behind the scenes.

The only way to address the conflict is for Representative Bennett to resign at once, or to delay the start of her employment with the City of Dover until November 2022.

And this is not just my standard call for resignation. It would seem to be legally required under Section 14 of Article II of the Delaware Constitution of 1897:

Section 14. No Senator or Representative shall, during the time for which he or she shall have been elected, be appointed to any civil office under this State which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased during such time. No member of Congress, nor any person holding any office under this State, or the United States, except officers usually appointed by the courts of justice respectively, attorneys-at-law and officers of the militia, holding no disqualifying office, shall during his or her continuance in Congress or in office be a Senator or Representative; nor shall any person while concerned in any army or navy contract be a Senator or Representative.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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