Former Delaware state legislator Rebecca Walker has been acquitted of falsifying breathalyzer tests for alcohol of employees in the state office that stores and tests drugs seized by police.
At the conclusion of a trial that began last week, Superior Court Judge Francis “Pete” Jones ruled Thursday that Walker was not guilty of three misdemeanors: falsifying business records, offering a false instrument for filing, and official misconduct. Walker had opted for a bench trial instead of having a jury render a verdict.
Prosecutors from the state Division of Civil Rights and Public Trust had charged Walker a year ago with the offenses, saying they occurred while she was deputy director of the Division of Forensic Science from 2015 through 2020. The indictment said Walker claimed in official documents that some employees passed breathalyzer tests when they had not received the tests.
When she was indicted, Walker was director of nursing for the State Division of Public Health. She was suspended with pay after the charges were filed, but was reinstated three weeks later and still has the job that pays $102,000 annually.
“Walker always maintained her innocence,’’ her attorney, John Malik, said after she was exonerated. “From the day of her indictment to her ultimate vindication at trial, one year later, she endured the wait to officially challenge and correctly contest the charges.”
Walker did not testify at the trial.
When Walker was indicted in April 2021, Attorney General Kathy Jennings had said her office “cannot and will not tolerate violations of the public trust. Nobody should be beneath justice, and nobody – no matter their title – should be above the law.”
Jennings had no comment, however, after Judge Jones issued his verdict. Instead, spokesman Mat Marshall said the office has “a responsibility to seek accountability and are proud of the team that took this case to trial.”
Malik said the verdict shows that Walker never “made any intentional false entries in the employee alcohol testing records … and had not gained any benefit from the alleged false entries.”
Malik added that his client was merely sloppy in recording that some employees had been tested even though they had not received the breathalyzer.
For the tests she did conduct, Walker “would later record the results, and it appears that she wasn’t doing it contemporaneously,” Malik said. “So our position was she probably wrote this down after she did it, and she made some mistakes entering.”
Walker is a Democrat who represented the Middletown area in the state House of Representatives from 2010 to 2014.
Malik said his client has a doctorate in nursing as well as a law degree and wants to move past this trying period.
“After considering everything, the judge saw what she knew — that she was innocent of any crime. She didn’t do anything intentionally here. This was a mistake, and her name’s been cleared.”