A special prosecutor has been appointed to conduct an investigation into allegations that Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) used county resources to benefit his political campaign, county officials announced Friday.
The appointment of Theo Stamos (D), the commonwealth’s attorney for Arlington County, comes after one of Delgaudio’s former aides alleged that she spent the majority of her working hours early this year scheduling fundraising meetings. The aide, Donna Mateer, also said in a complaint filed with the county human resources department that Delgaudio subjected his employees to a hostile working environment.
The appointment came at the request of Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman (R), who said in a court filing that he had received additional information concerning the allegations that merited further review. He requested someone from outside Loudoun to conduct the investigation to preserve “public confidence in the integrity of any conclusions.”
Delgaudio and his attorney, Charles King, did not respond to requests for comment Friday.
Delgaudio has repeatedly denied the accusations. While he acknowledged that county aides set up fundraising meetings for him, he said they were solely intended to benefit a local youth football league. County policy prohibits political activity on county time or using county resources.
Delgaudio, 57, is in his fourth term on the board. A controversial figure known for his diatribes from the dais, he is also the president of a nonprofit group that advocates against gay rights and has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
After Mateer’s accusations were detailed in The Washington Post, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last month to direct County Attorney John R. “Jack” Roberts to retain an investigative firm to conduct an independent review of the allegations.
But with Stamos’s appointment, officials said Friday that the county would suspend the administrative review.
After Mateer was fired in March, she provided substantial supporting documents to Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large), including fundraising spreadsheets and e-mail records related to her allegations.
Even though York had them in his possession since shortly after Mateer’s complaint was filed in March, Plowman received them just this week and he called for the appointment of a special prosecutor.
That delay has become fodder for the county Democratic Committee, which accused Republicans on the board of failing to launch a thorough investigation.
“The ways in which Chairman York and the Board of Supervisors have mishandled the allegations against Mr. Delgaudio are deeply troubling,” Evan Macbeth, the committee chairman, said in a statement Friday.
York has defended the board’s actions and said it was up to the commonwealth’s attorney to investigate.
“I’m not a prosecutor,” he said. “That’s their job.”