The drama surrounding Delaware Treasurer Chip Flowers has shifted focus from his expenditures in Alaska and now centers on his dispute with the state’s Cash Management Policy Board.
After a lengthy dispute over who has the legal authority to make investment decisions for the state’s portfolio, the Delaware Attorney General’s office has issued an opinion against Treasurer Flowers.
Flowers has maintained that the board should not have a unilateral say on investment decisions. The board includes several appointees of Governor Jack Markell.
In the opinion on the matter issued by Beau Biden’s office, Chief Deputy Attorney General Ian McConnel writes that the General Assembly has “expressly limited the authority of the State Treasurer.”
McConnel says both legislation enacted in 1981 and the epilogue language included in the the FY 2013 budget bill “explicitly direct the State Treasurer to invest state funds only in accordance with the CMPB investment policies and the guidelines.”
The CMPB asked for the opinion from the AG’s office, and it appears they got the answer they were looking for. Flowers, on the other hand, is not pleased with the opinion. In an email to WHYY, Flowers calls the AG’s ruling “a very shady non-binding legal opinion.”
He claims that the chair of the CMPB’s investment subcommittee, Dave Marvin has an investment interest in several banks and wants to invest the state’s money in those banks.
“It is wrong for the AG’s office to issue a non-binding opinion to support corruption on our $2 billion investment portfolio and I am willing to stand alone in this fight. This is not the Delaware way, this is the corrupt way.”
Started with Alaska questions
The latest flare up in Flowers fight with the CMPB comes after weeks of speculation and questions about his expenditures while on a business trip to Alaska along with his former deputy.
Earlier this month, Flowers released travel documents related to the trip and agreed to reimburse the state for charges on his state credit card while in Alaska for the National Association of State Treasurers Annual Conference.
He maintained that the charges were all related to official business, but said he would repay the state as part of an effort to “avoid any future confusion” over the trip. Flowers also pledged to reimburse the state $876.05 for the Alaska trip as well as another business trip he took to Seattle.
You can read the opinion from the AG’s office in its entirety below: