John Carney

Who is John Carney?

John Carney is a Democratic politician, serving as the Governor of Delaware since 2017. From 2011 until his appointment as Governor, Carney served Delaware’s at-large congressional district as their U.S. Representative. Carney previously held the position of Delaware’s Secretary of Finance, Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Tom Carper, and Lieutenant Governor of Delaware.

Carney graduated from St. Marks. High School in Wilmington, Delaware before attending Dartmouth College. He went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the University of Delaware.

Why is John Carney Controversial?

John Carney’s most well-known controversy involves a major Delaware land deal. In October of 2008, the State of Delaware used tax dollars to purchase 11 acres of land in Kent County for $2.78 million as an investment. In 2018, without putting it up for sale for public bidding, the land was sold to John Paradee for a meager $275,000. Two weeks later it was listed for sale at $6.5 million. 

When the land was sold to Paradee, it violated multiple laws which govern the sale of state-owned land. Title 17 states that “public notice must be given and state land must be sold at public auction at no less than 85% of its appraised value.” For this sale, there was no auction, no public notice, and the 11 acres were sold for far less than the appraised value. Furthermore, records acquired by the Freedom Information Act indicate the Secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation ordered the sale to Paradee to be expedited, making a process that under normal circumstances takes 30 days to complete, into one that was finished in just over a week.   

While the facts of this deal raise suspicions on its own, who John Paradee makes it a whole lot shadier. John Paradee is a supporter, and more importantly, a major fundraiser of Governor John Carney. We’ll let you fill in the rest. 

Key Facts about John Carney

  • As Governor of Delaware, Carney has a responsibility to oversee the court cases taking place in his jurisdiction. He is charged with ensuring cases are tried fairly and that there is no corruption or mishandlings. Carney failed to do this when a case involving a successful company was forced into sale by Delaware Chancery Court Chancellor, Andrew Bouchard. Bouchard claimed his ruling was based on the Delaware General Corporation Law which permits a sale when a business is failing, is in extreme financial trouble, or faces other disastrous issues. The company at hand though, did not fall into any of those categories; on the contrary it was thriving. A prominent NY Justice commented on the ruling: “I was kind of shocked at how extreme the result was…The company is still doing phenomenally well and I thought there were steps that should have been taken short of ordering a sale. That’s what I would have done if I still had the case.” Despite the public opposition by multiple political and legal leaders, Carney did not investigate the case, and failed to do right by his constituents.  
  • Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware, a group whose mission is ”standing up for good-government and common-sense legislation to promote judicial transparency and accountability in the Delaware court system,” has taken it upon themselves to do Carney’s job for him in ensuring corruption stays out of his courts. Carney however, consistently and constantly pushes back on their agenda.  
  • During Carney’s term as Governor, 9 citizens in Delaware have been shot and killed by police, with the police being exempt from punishment.  
  • Governor John Carney continues to allow the deeply corrupt law firm Skadden Arps to obtain millions of dollars from Delaware’s courts and government bodies.
  • Many of his constituents feel Governor Carney has failed the diverse communities in Delaware, with the Chancery Court employing an all white Chancellor staff. The photo on their site is deceiving: while it continues to feature Judge Tamika Montgomery-Reeves, the only Black person in the group – she, in fact, is not Vice Chancellor anymore and is a judge on the Delaware Supreme Court. It’s probably time they update their photo and show their true colors, or lack thereof. 

More about John Carney:

  • John Carney was a football star, earning All-Ivy League and Most Valuable Player at Dartmouth College. He was a coach for freshman football at the University of Delaware.
  • Carney held the position of President and COO of Transformative Technologies. 
  • Carney pardoned repeat offender Barry Gordon Croft Jr. in April of 2019. In October of 2020, Croft was charged with plotting to kidnap the Michigan governor.