Trial begins for state official charge with misconduct

April 14, 2022 GMT

DOVER, Del. (AP) — A trial has begun for a high-ranking state medical official and former Delaware lawmaker who is charged with official misconduct and falsifying business records.

State prosecutors and defense attorneys presented their opening statements Tuesday in the case against Rebecca Walker, the director of nursing in the state Division of Public Health and a former state House representative, The News Journal reported.

Last year’s indictment alleges that Walker submitted phony records regarding employee alcohol and drug testing over nearly five years while she served as deputy director of the state Division of Forensic Science. She is charged with falsifying business records, offering a false instrument for filing, and official misconduct, all misdemeanors.

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Prosecutors said Walker “slacked off and failed” to perform her duties as the chief substance abuse officer overseeing a drug and alcohol screening program at the department.

Defense attorney John Malik argued that his client “never intended to commit any of these crimes,” noting that prosecutors must show intent to defraud or misrepresent the test results for Walker to be found guilty. It was simply a mistake and neither Walker nor the state employees under her “personally benefited” from the incorrect test records, Malik said.

She faces up to three years in prison if convicted.