Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Christian Dem in NC printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 03:45:57 PM EST

Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate of the United States.  You may remember that he stole a wedding picture and used it on anti-gay flyers in Colorado two years ago.  At last report, a lawsuit against both Delgaudio and his organization is still pending.  But Delgaudio may have concerns nearer and dearer than that lawsuit.  Since 1999, Delgaudio has been a member of the Board of Supervisors (county commission) in Loudoun County, representing the Sterling area.  But several of his constituents are trying to use a little-known Virginia law to have him removed from office for gross misconduct--including using county money to run Public Advocate.

The story began in September 2012, when one of his former aides, Donna Mateer, claimed Delgaudio forced her to raise money for his campaigns on Loudoun County's dime.  She also claimed Public Advocate footed the bill for several courses she attended, as well as fundraising lists she was told to use.  She also claimed that at one point while she worked for Delgaudio, Public Advocate essentially took over his office.  Mateer also said the working environment in that office was extremely hostile--to the point that several people quit.  

Mateer's allegations were serious enough to trigger a criminal investigation by Theo Stamos, the commonwealth's attorney (district attorney) for nearby Arlington County.  The investigation concluded last June.  Ultimately, the grand jury declined to indict Delgaudio--but only because Loudoun County supervisors serve part-time, and therefore aren't covered by state laws governing misuse of public money.  Read the full report here.  When Delgaudio's colleagues on the all-Republican Board of Supervisors read the report, they dropped the hammer on him.  Delgaudio was formally censured, stripped of his committee seats (though he got one of them back in January) and lost control of his district budget to the full board.  One of the supervisors, Ralph Buona, said--rightly--that Delgaudio had only escaped being brought up on criminal charges due to a technicality.

That didn't go far enough for several of Delgaudio's constituents.  Two weeks ago, a group called "Sterling Deserves Better" filed a petition asking the Loudoun County circuit court to remove Delgaudio from office.  Under Section 24.2-233 of the Virginia Code, constituents can petition a court to remove an elected official from office for "neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties when that neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties has a material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office."  The text of the petition largely echoes the grand jury's findings.  In essence, Sterling Deserves Better is saying that even if Delgaudio's actions didn't technically break the law, based on the grand jury report he is manifestly unfit for office.  The case is currently on hold because the judge slated to preside over it wants the entire bench of Loudoun County recused.

Delgaudio has, true to form, played the persecution card.  In a story on OneNewsNow, he claims that those evil libruls are trying to boot him out because he opposes gay rights.  No, Eugene.  You're fighting for your job because your constituents don't want to be represented by someone who's corrupt.

Stay tuned.

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