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Public health official acquitted on misconduct charges

April 21, 2022 GMT

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A high-ranking state medical official and former Delaware lawmaker charged with official misconduct and falsifying business records was acquitted Thursday by a Superior Court judge.

Following a bench trial, the judge found Rebecca Walker not guilty on all charges.

Walker is the director of nursing in the state Division of Public Health and a former state House representative. She was accused of submitting phony records regarding employee alcohol and drug testing over a period of nearly five years while she served as deputy director of the state Division of Forensic Science.

Walker was placed on paid administrative leave from her nursing post after being indicted in April 2021, but was allowed to return to work less than three weeks later.

As Democratic vice-chair of the House Health and Human Development, Walker cosponsored and helped pass a bill in 2014 that created the forensic science division. Months later, without a public job posting, she was hired as deputy director of the division at a salary of more than $92,000.

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The indictment alleged that between May 2015 and February 2020, Walker “with the intent to defraud,” falsified employee substance abuse testing records, indicating employees had passed tests they never received.

Walker was charged with falsifying business records, offering a false instrument for filing, and official misconduct, all misdemeanors. She faced up to three years in prison if convicted.

Walker’s attorney argued she may have been careless and that records may not have been kept properly, but she never intended to commit any crime or engage in fraud.