Sterling Deserves Better was formed to organize members of the Sterling community to find solutions to the representation problem the Sterling District currently faces. The Sterling District is the only district in Loudoun County that is not represented by a Supervisor on the committees which drive the agenda of the Board of Supervisors. The current Supervisor for the Sterling District, Eugene Delgaudio, was not allowed on any committees this year due to ongoing legal and ethical issues, including alleged violations of campaign finance and employment law.
Yesterday, Washington Post correspondent Caitlin Gibson reported that a grand jury has been convened to determine whether Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio should be indicted on charges stemming from allegations and documentation made public by former members of Supervisor Delgaudio’s county staff.
We at Sterling Deserves Better are glad to see the justice system at work to determine if Eugene Delgaudio is guilty of criminal violations of the law. He deserves due process of the law – to have his rights as a criminal suspect protected throughout this process. At the same time, the people of Sterling deserve equal representation on the Board of Supervisors. It is unfortunate that Supervisor Delgaudio doesn’t have enough respect for his constituents to step down, but that is within his rights.
Fortunately, Virginia law grants citizens the right to invoke recall procedures in cases, such as this one, where an elected official has misused his office so egregiously that the official in question can no longer function as a representative of the district he was elected to serve. Whether or not Eugene Delgaudio is indicted, or ultimately found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, his unethical actions have left the Sterling District without equal representation, and it is our right – our duty – to ensure our voices our heard on the Board of Supervisors.
Eugene Delgaudio has reportedly misused his office by ordering county staff to spend up to 70% of their time raising funds for outside organizations. Reports indicate that Delgaudio’s staff time has been spent raising money to fund his personal business and/or political operations. Delgaudio has admitted to having his staff raise funds for outside organizations, but has hid behind the shield of youth sports charity to justify his misuse of office. As Supervisor Ken Reid noted, having staff aides raise money, even for charity, is “very suspect” – and I’d argue that it is especially so when one considers the amount of county resources that were being dedicated to the task.
The allegations indicate that Eugene Delgaudio regularly mishandled his county staff and merged the operations of his elected office and The Public Advocate of the United States, which is listed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Eugene Delgaudio is known to have instructed his county staff to report to employees of his hate group operation. This co-mingling of staffs shows a reckless disregard for county resources, and for his obligations to the people of Sterling. Further, he is accused of administering a religious and ideological litmus test during the hiring process, putting the county at risk of violating Federal law and exposing the county to potential litigation.
It is imperative that the people of Sterling take every measure available by law to prevent Eugene Delgaudio from continuing to expose the county to additional legal liability, misuse county resources, and deny the people of Sterling the representation we deserve.