The ongoing battle between Loudoun Supervisor Eugene A. Delgaudio and the county Board of Supervisors appears likely to continue, as Delgaudio’s attorney said last week that Delgaudio plans to appeal the dismissal of a lawsuit filed against his fellow supervisors.
The lawsuit was filed shortly before the county board took action in response to a June 24 report from a special grand jury that concluded a lengthy criminal investigation of Delgaudio (R-Sterling). The investigation stemmed from allegations made by one of the supervisor’s former aides, who told The Washington Post last year that Delgaudio used county resources and staff members to benefit his political campaign.
Before the board’s July 17 vote to formally censure Delgaudio and strip him of his authority over his district budget, King filed a complaint in Loudoun County Circuit Court seeking to halt the board from taking action.
But the court declined to intervene with the board’s plans, and on Aug. 2, Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Burke F. McCahill dismissed the lawsuit.
King said in an interview last week that he expects additional motions to be made in the case Sept. 6. He said he will seek the opportunity to amend and refile the lawsuit. Should that motion fail, “it will likely go to appellate court,” King said.
Before the board’s vote last month, several supervisors said they hoped that disciplining Delgaudio would put an end to more than a year of controversy surrounding him. But Delgaudio made it clear that he would not accept punishment without “due process,” which King said was not afforded by the board.
King said Delgaudio had also made efforts to approach fellow board members and urge them to readdress the board’s vote at an upcoming meeting.
“We have been trying” to push for reconsideration, King said, “but there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of interest in doing that.”
Board Vice Chairman Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) said he was among the officials who received a call from Delgaudio in recent weeks, as he lobbied for funding for a staff budget. Williams said he was frustrated by Delgaudio’s claims that he wanted to get back “in the good graces” of his fellow supervisors despite his continued criticism of the board in his newsletters and at local Republican committee meetings.
At a July 22 Loudoun Republican Committee meeting, Delgaudio got support from many committee members. A formal resolution, requesting that the board reconsider its actions against Delgaudio and offer him a chance to defend himself, was proposed at the meeting, but the committee did not have enough members on hand to vote on the matter.
Williams said he would not be surprised if the resolution came up again at the next committee meeting Monday.
“From my perspective, it’s really tearing the party a little bit apart, because there are people who are loyal to Eugene,” Williams said. “But he hasn’t publicly admitted that he broke county policy, and it’s clear that he did.”
The supervisors would be more open to Delgaudio’s budget requests if the ongoing legal and political battle ended, Williams said.
“I think people just want to see him fly right for a while,” he said. “But it seems as though he’s back to waging war against the rest of the board as opposed to trying to move on.”