Capriglione v. Delaware, et al.Annotate this Case
On April 5, 2021, Michael Capriglione was elected to a two-year term as a Commissioner of the Town of Newport. On the eve of his swearing-in ceremony, the Attorney General, on behalf of the State of Delaware, petitioned for a writ of quo warranto contending that Capriglione was prohibited from serving as a Commissioner because he had been convicted of misdemeanor official misconduct for actions he took as Newport’s police chief in 2018. That offense, the State argued, was a disqualifying “infamous crime” under Art. II, sec. 21 of the Delaware Constitution. The Superior Court stayed Capriglione’s swearing in to resolve this question and eventually held that he was constitutionally barred from holding public office. The Delaware Supreme Court considered Capriglione’s appeal on an expedited basis, hearing oral argument on July 14, 2021. On July 16, the Supreme Court issued an order reversing the Superior Court and allowing Capriglione to take the oath of office. In this opinion, the Court explained its reasons for doing so: under Section 21, only felonies can be disqualifying “infamous” crimes.