The attorney for Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio filed a petition Monday in Loudoun County Circuit Court to stop the county Board of Supervisors from taking possible disciplinary action against Delgaudio at a meeting Wednesday.
A court hearing has been scheduled Wednesday morning to address the matter, according to Delgaudio’s attorney, Charlie King.
King filed the emergency request for temporary injunction after members of the county Board of Supervisors said at a July 3 meeting that they would act in response to a special grand jury report that concluded a months-long criminal investigation of the Sterling supervisor, who was accused by a former staff aide of using his public office for political gain. Delgaudio and King believe the county board will take disciplinary action.
Delgaudio was not indicted by the special grand jury, which completed its investigation last month. But the jurors took the unusual step of issuing a detailed report that identified several potential problems in Delgaudio’s county office — including the possible misuse of county resources and county employees, the suspicion of unreported campaign donations, a perceived disregard for constituent services, a hostile work environment, and the blurring of lines between his county office and his controversial, anti-gay conservative nonprofit organization, Public Advocate of the United States.
County supervisors said earlier this month that they would address the concerns outlined in the report at the board meeting this week. The board members have not identified specific actions they might consider taking against Delgaudio.
According to background documentation for the board’s agenda Wednesday, Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott K. York (R-At Large.) and Vice Chairman Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) plan to recommend that the board discuss the special grand jury in a “Committee of the Whole” — meaning that all members of the board, including Delgaudio, would have the opportunity to address the concerns outlined in the report without adhering to a three-minute time limit each.
The only action that could be taken while in committee, according to the agenda item, would be to end the discussion with or without a recommendation for follow-up action at a later time.
King said the board could proceed with a discussion of the issue Wednesday, but if the injunction was supported by the court, the supervisors would be barred from taking formal action against Delgaudio until a legal procedure had been established.
“Eugene has the right to due process like every other American,” King said in an interview. “They have to give him a chance to comment or reply… to maybe call for witnesses or cross-examine witnesses. There is a kind of rudimentary process that should take place, but it didn’t look like the board was going to do this, so that’s why we’ve asked for it.”
King and Delgaudio expressed concern that the board “will likely… formally reprimand him and eliminate the budget for his staff aides,” according to the court filing.
Because Delgaudio has “no remedy at law” or means to defend himself against actions taken by the board, he has asked the court to intervene on his behalf, the filing said.
King expressed optimism that the court would support the injunction.
“Supervisor Delgaudio does not have any right to a particular result, but he does have a right to a fair process and to defend himself, and that’s all we’re really asking,” King said.