Delgaudio stripped of board committee assignments as investigation continues

January 7, 2013

Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene A. Delgaudio (R-Sterling), who is under investigation for allegations that he used his public office to benefit his political campaign, was stripped of his committee assignments Wednesday at the Board of Supervisors’ first business meeting of the year.

Delgaudio, who is in his fourth term on the board, previously served on the board’s Finance, Government Services and Operations Committee and the Transportation and Land Use Committee.

But at the recommendation of board Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large), supervisors voted unanimously — with Supervisor Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge) absent — to exclude Delgaudio from all committees this year.

There was no discussion of Delgaudio’s removal from the committees before the vote. Delgaudio’s attorney, Charles King, swiftly condemned York and the board’s action in a statement Thursday.

York should not have used “parliamentary rules to accomplish what he knew he could not through proper process,” King said in the statement.

King said that the chairman should have instead established a committee, conducted an investigation and had a hearing to address the matter.

Delgaudio is the subject of a criminal investigation led by Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos (D), who was appointed in November to review accusations of improper conduct that were made by Delgaudio’s former aide, Donna Mateer.

Mateer alleged in a Washington Post article in September that she was told to spend the majority of her time early last year scheduling fundraising meetings for Delgaudio. After her complaints became public, supervisors voted Oct. 3 to initiate an administrative review of Delgaudio, a process that was ultimately abandoned after the criminal investigation was opened.

King said in his statement that Delgaudio had supported the investigation in the hope that it “would clear his name faster.” Delgaudio also joined in the unanimous vote for the new committee assignments, King said, “to avoid embroiling the entire board in another controversy.”

York said that the reorganization of the county committees is a standard annual process and that he did not recommend Delgaudio to serve on any committees this time because the supervisor remains under active criminal investigation.

But King said that York’s recommendation is part of a broader pattern.

“Supervisor Delgaudio is the seventh board member Chairman York has accused of misconduct. There is a pattern. What is different this time is the chairman’s allegations may be tested in a hearing before the board. Witnesses may be cross-examined; documents will be subpoenaed,” King said.

York dismissed King’s claims, saying that he has not accused Delgaudio of wrongdoing.

King “is probably just drinking the same clown juice that Delgaudio is, because I have no idea what the heck he’s talking about,” York said.

Loudoun Democrats said the board’s action was a welcome move, and long overdue.

“Four months after the serious allegations surfaced publicly — 10 months after they landed on York’s desk — the board finally has moved against Delgaudio,” Evan Macbeth, chairman of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee, said in a statement.

“While I applaud the board’s actions, the delays and excuses of the past four months have raised a cloud of suspicion that the Loudoun Board of Supervisors cares more about their personal power and political allegiances than they do about good government and the appearances of improprieties,” Macbeth said.

Tony Barney, a Sterling Democrat who last month formally announced his plans to run against Delgaudio in 2015, also issued a critical statement calling for Delgaudio’s resignation.

“Now that he is unable to operate on the same level as the rest of the Board of Supervisors, how can he fully serve the people of the Sterling District or negotiate for the resources that his district needs?” Barney said in the statement. “I am calling for Mr. Delgaudio to do what is honorable, and immediately resign from the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.”

In other reorganizational matters, the board voted unanimously Wednesday to appoint Supervisor Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) as vice chairman. Williams began his role as vice chairman at the same meeting.

Supervisor Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge), who was vice chairman last year, had indicated that she would not seek reappointment to the position, which, she said, should rotate among board members.

Caitlin Gibson is a local news and features writer for The Washington Post.
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