Sunday Preview: Markell supporters reap millions from state work Jonathan Starkey, The News Journal
Gov. Jack Markell’s administration has paid millions of dollars to law firms tied to supporters and former staff members hired to help shore up the state’s budget with cash from out-of-state businesses incorporated here.
A Wilmington law firm managed by Markell’s former chief of staff received nearly $2 million from the state in the last two years to help collect money owed by businesses under a program he helped create while working for the governor. State officials picked the firm, which has hired other Markell staffers, even though it received lower marks than two other bidders competing for the work, records show.
Nearly $1 million more went to Markell’s campaign finance chairman to represent the state in a Chancery Court case filed by the office supply chain Staples. The company settled its lawsuit challenging a state audit that demanded millions from the business.
In addition to Markell supporters and former staff members, state officials also have paid $120 million to a Massachusetts-based corporate auditing business that has hired two high-ranking Delaware officials.
Nothing about the relationships and contracts is illegal. But the contracts raise questions about how Markell, who came into the governor’s office critical of backroom deals that benefit insiders, runs the program that collects so much state revenue.
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