DOVER, Del. — A Delaware judge says the ethics agency that oversees the code of conduct for state employees has no jurisdiction over government lawyers.
Superior Court Judge Ferris Wharton ruled Wednesday that lawyers working for the legislature, state agencies and the attorney general’s office are not subject to the Delaware Public Integrity Commission’s ethics rules.
The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by attorney Rich Abbott challenging the commission’s assertion that it had no jurisdiction to consider a complaint he filed against Jennifer-Kate Aaronson, head of the Office of Disciplinary Counsel. That’s an arm of the Supreme Court that handles allegations of lawyer misconduct.
Wharton acknowledged that Aaronson is a state employee but said the commission has no authority over her because Delaware’s Supreme Court has sole authority in regulating the legal profession.