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Board approves pardon for ex-police chief in corruption case

February 28, 2019

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Delaware’s Board of Pardons is recommending that a former county police chief who pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a government corruption case be pardoned.

Following Thursday’s recommendation, John Cunningham’s pardon request now goes to Democratic Gov. John Carney.

Cunningham and his attorney, Claire DeMatteis, who recently served as a prison reform adviser to Carney, appeared for the hearing. But they were told board members didn’t need to hear from them because they already had decided on the request, which the attorney general’s office did not oppose.

In 2003, Cunningham pleaded guilty to pressuring subordinate officers, at former New Castle County chief administrator Sherry Freebery’s direction, to work on two county council members’ political campaigns while on duty.

Cunningham is now an assistant vice president at Wilmington University.