The Washington Post this morning published a front page article detailing allegations against Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, including his regular misuse of office and persistent violation of County policies. He is alleged to have improperly used his County staff to make political fundraising calls -- by some accounts these efforts made up more than half of their workload. He is alleged to have engaged in improper hiring practices, and to have fostered a hostile work environment, one in which he frequently berated his employees and went on racist and homophobic rants. Delgaudio also admits he had personnel at his private organization -- the Public Advocate of the United States, recently labeled a Hate Group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its anti-gay actions -- directly supervise his County staff.
Delgaudio fired aide Donna Mateer after she filed a complaint with the County Human Resources department. Two other Delgaudio aides quit after learning of his repeated ethical lapses. ("He is flagrantly violating policy, and I can't work for a man like that," one former aide told the Post.) Mateer spoke with Board Chairman Scott York about her allegations, including the improper fundraising, but York failed to take action. York's failure notwithstanding, the Post article indicates Delgaudio is being investigated by the FBI.
In light of all this information, the Loudoun County Democratic Committee calls on Eugene Delgaudio to resign from the Board of Supervisors. He has proved himself unfit for office many times over, but these accusations remove any doubt. His misuse of office, treatment of staff, and flagrant violation of County policies are unacceptable.
The LCDC urges Chairman York, the other Supervisors on the all-Republican Board, and other Republican leaders in the County, including Congressman Frank Wolf, to decry Delgaudio's actions and to call for his resignation.
If Mr. Delgaudio refuses to resign, the LCDC calls on Chairman York to ensure that Delgaudio cannot further misuse his office; to remove him from any committees or subcommittees to which he is assigned, and to otherwise limit the ways in which Delgaudio can taint the actions of the Board and hinder the governance of Loudoun.
Furthermore, the LCDC calls upon Chairman York to explain his failure to act on credible information that Delgaudio was misusing his office in direct contravention of County policies. Why did he not act on Delgaudio's clearly illegal hiring practices? Why did he not act on the clearly improper use of County staff for fundraising? The Washington Post paid scant attention to York's failures, but Loudoun deserves answers for the Chairman's role in this scandal.
Chairman York and the other Republican Supervisors have long turned a blind-eye to Delgaudio's actions, when they were clearly offensive and an embarrassment to the County. Now is the time for them to finally step forward and say "Enough."
Loudoun Democrats who have long followed Delgaudio's actions and antics were impressed -- but not surprised -- by the extent of the allegations against Delgaudio, and the failure of his fellow Republicans to rein him in.
"The total disregard for basic ethics by Mr. Delgaudio and the creation of a hostile work environment for Ms. Mateer are symptoms of a fundamentally corrupt landscape on the top floor of the County Government Center," said LCDC Chair Evan Macbeth. "We have called for Mr. Delgaudio's resignation for a long time, as his words and actions are unacceptable from any elected official, and do not represent the Loudoun County we are all proud of."
"The fact that his fellow Supervisors continued to allow him to actively participate in subcommittees and public functions while he was engaged in these activities demonstrates a near-criminal disregard for basic good government or a spectacularly unobservant ignorance of what is happening at the top levels of County government," said Macbeth. "Either would disqualify the leadership of this Board from retaining the public's trust."
Al Nevarez, Delgaudio's Democratic challenger last November, reacted strongly to the Washington Post article: "Confronted with evidence of his repeated misuse of office, staff, and county resources, Eugene Delgaudio complained of being 'micromanaged' and thought it was 'really absurd' to question his actions. It is clear that Mr. Delgaudio believes he answers to no one; that he is unaccountable for his criminal behavior."
Nevarez stated that "Mr. Delgaudio owes the people of Sterling an explanation: 'Why are you using public resources to conduct your campaign business? What possible explanation could you have for putting the manager of the hate group Public Advocate in charge of County staff? What other illegal activity are you still engaging in that could put county resources and credibility at risk?'"
"It's time for Eugene Delgaudio to come clean with the people of Sterling and resign immediately," Nevarez concluded.
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