Delgaudio stripped of board committee assignments as investigation continues
By Caitlin Gibson,
Controversial Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, who is under investigation for allegations that he used his public office to benefit his political campaign, was stripped of his standing Board of Supervisors committee assignments Wednesday at the board’s first business meeting of the year.
Delgaudio (R-Sterling), in his fourth term of office, has 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), the board 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 prior to the vote, but 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.
The chairman instead should have established a committee, conducted an investigation and held a hearing to address the matter, King said.
Delgaudio is the subject of a criminal investigation led by Arlington County Commonwealth Attorney Theo Stamos (D), who was appointed in November to review accusations of improper conduct made by Delgaudio’s former aide, Donna Mateer.
Mateer alleged in a Washington Post report in September that she was told to spend the majority of her time in early 2012 scheduling fundraising meetings for Delgaudio. After her complaints became public, the Board of Supervisors voted Oct. 3 to initiate an administrative review of Delgaudio – a process that was ultimately abandoned once the criminal investigation was opened.
King noted in his statement that Delgaudio had supported the investigation in the hopes 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 was a standard annual process, and that he did not recommend Delgaudio to serve on any committees this time because the Sterling 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, and said that he had 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 County Democrats said the board’s action was a welcome move — but 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,” said Evan Macbeth, Chairman of the Loudoun County Democratic Committee, 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 care 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 the 2015 election, 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.”