Two Delaware public officials, William Freeborn and Rebecca Walker, have been indicted, Attorney General Kathy Jennings announced Tuesday.
Freeborn’s indictments allege that between Feb. 1, 2019 and May 17, 2020, when he was executive director of the Wilmington Neighborhood Conservancy Land Bank – Freeborn knowingly accepted at least $28,000 in unauthorized cash deposits for properties that did not belong to the Land Bank. Freeborn was charged Monday with theft by false promise and misapplication of property, both Class G felonies, and with official misconduct, a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, Freeborn — a former city councilman and director of the Delaware Division of Corporations — could face up to five years in prison.
In Walker’s case, the indictment outlines that between May 8, 2015 and Feb. 3, 2020, Walker – in her capacity as deputy director of the Division of Forensic Science – falsified the records of multiple employees under her supervision, claiming that the employees passed alcohol tests that they never received.
A former state representative, Walker is charged with falsifying business records, offering a false instrument for filing, and official misconduct, all Class A misdemeanors, and could face up to three years in prison if convicted. Walker is currently the director of nursing at the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services.
The Division of Forensic Science and the Land Bank both alerted the Department of Justice’s Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust independently after discovering the defendants’ conduct.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 11)
“We cannot and will not tolerate violations of the public trust,” Jennings said in a press release. “We fought hard to make DCRPT a permanent part of our office, and these cases are a reminder of why its mission is so important. Nobody should be beneath justice, and nobody – no matter their title – should be above the law.”
The Department of Justice also asked anyone who knows of illegal transactions solicited by Freeborn, or anyone else misrepresenting the Wilmington Land Bank, to contact the state Division of Civil Rights & Public Trust at (302) 577-5400 or [email protected]. Public trust complaints may also be submitted online at de.gov/dcrptcomplaint.
The cases are being prosecuted by DCRPT’s Director Mark Denney and Deputy Attorney General Nicole Mozee, with support and assistance from Deputy Attorney General Brian Robertson and Forensic Accountant Clyde Hartman of the DOJ’s White Collar Crime Unit. DOJ Special Investigators John Ziemba and Frank Robinson led the investigations.
Betsy Price is a Wilmington freelance writer who has 40 years of experience, including 15 at The News Journal in Delaware.
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