Last week, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large) informed fellow board members that he would call a special meeting to discuss what actions, if any, to take against Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, (R-Sterling) while he is under investigation for allegations that he used his public office to benefit his political campaign.
But Thursday, York reversed course and announced that there would be no meeting, citing the advice of County Attorney Jack Roberts that “no action should be taken regarding the Delgaudio matter ... until the [investigation] has been completed.”
The change of plans follows the appointment last week of Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos (D) to investigate the allegations of Delgaudio’s former aide, Donna Mateer, who claims that she spent the majority of her time early this year scheduling fundraising meetings for the supervisor.
Delgaudio has consistently denied the accusations, claiming that his fundraising efforts were intended solely on behalf of a local youth football league.
Delgaudio’s attorney, Charles King, said in a statement this week that an objective investigation benefits the supervisor.
“Supervisor Delgaudio's detractors will have the opportunity to vent all their allegations. If the charges made by Ms. Mateer and Supervisor Delgaudio’s critics are found to be unsubstantiated by the Virginia State Police and the Arlington County Commonwealth's Attorney, those matters must be considered closed by all reasonable people,” King said.
After Mateer’s accusations were first reported in The Washington Post in September, the Loudoun Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Oct. 3 to initiate an administrative investigation of the matter. But the review was suspended once the criminal investigation was opened, officials said.
Local Democrats and Loudoun County Supervisor Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) had voiced support for administrative action against Delgaudio while he is under investigation. In a statement Wednesday, Williams said he would push to remove Delgaudio from his positions on the county Finance, Government Services and Operations Committee and the Transportation and Land Use Committee.
“I strongly believe it is incumbent on the Board to act with the highest ethical standards and have no tolerance for those who act with any impropriety,” Williams said.
In lieu of the cancelled meeting, York said he would hold a Chairman’s Town Hall meeting on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., during which the public could ask him about any topic.
The Loudoun Democratic Committee applauded Williams’s statement — and condemned the cancellation of the special meeting, calling the substitution of a town hall forum “laughable.”
The move was also questioned by a local political action committee led by former Loudoun County Supervisor Stevens Miller.
“Mr. York wants to continue the cover-up, yet again using the fact of an active investigation as an excuse to stop the facts from coming out, to stop his fellow board members from being heard, and to stop even the most prudent of actions being taken in regard to an elected official under criminal investigation,” the Real Advocate political action committee said in a statement Thursday.
Soon after Mateer was fired from Delgaudio’s office in March, she provided numerous supporting records to York, including fundraising spreadsheets and e-mail correspondence related to her allegations.
Delgaudio’s critics have questioned why those records were not turned over to the Roberts until last month. The supporting documents prompted the county-appointed investigators to recommend that the matter be referred to law enforcement officials for further investigation, according to county records.
Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman (R) requested that Stamos conduct the investigation in order to avoid any perceived conflict of interest.
King said he believed that no charges would come of the investigation.
“It does appear some in Loudoun County are trying to accomplish through allegations of misconduct what they could not at the ballot box — the defeat of Supervisor Delgaudio,” he said.