This is why we mounted a recall campaign

Posted by SDemocrats on June 28, 2013
Grand Jury

Eugene Delgaudio escaped prosecution for his violations of the public trust and failure to adhere to any reasonable standard of ethics. What you may not know, is that members of the Special Grand Jury to investigate the charges were not given an opportunity to deliberate, or make recommendations, on whether or not the Sterling Supervisor should be held criminally responsible for, among other things, ordering county staff to raise funds for non-governmental organizations and co-mingling the activities of the Loudoun County Government and his hate group, The Public Advocate of the United States.

The Executive Summary of the Special Grand Jury states that Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos “informed the jury that she would not ask the jury to consider any indictments. As such, the jury never deliberated to consider whether it would indict Supervisor Delgaudio, the original focus of the investigation, or any other individual.”

The report produced by the Special Grand Jury did imply that legal technicalities may have influenced Ms. Stamos when it stated that “the misuse of public assets that have occurred within Supervisor Delgaudio’s office, between fall 2011 and spring 2012…may not be criminal in this instance.” Note that the Grand Jury was not guarded in declaring that Eugene Delgaudio misused public assets, only that this misuse may not meet the criminal threshold. The legal technicality that seems to have influenced the Commonwealth’s Attorney to deny the Grand Jury the opportunity to deliberate is a loophole in Virginia code that states that such activity is only criminal if the person charged with misusing public assets is a “full-time” employee. It seems the law is designed to shield elected officials, most of whom are not explicitly considered full time employees.

This appalling process justifies our campaign to remove Eugene Delgaudio from office by petition from the citizens. We suspected that Virginia’s lax approach to holding elected officials accountable would hamper the possibility of criminal conviction, and that’s why we went directly to our neighbors to mount a recall campaign. The Grand Jury report sheds further light on how Eugene Delgaudio ordered county staff to ignore the concerns of constituents and the needs of the community he was elected to serve in order to focus primarily on fundraising. Sterling Deserves Better is committed to holding corrupt politicians accountable so that they serve our community instead of their special interest donors, who bribe politicians like Eugene Delgaudio to take money from our budget that could and should be going to educate our children, keep our streets safe and clean, and programs that serve the elderly, disabled, and impoverished. We have collected sufficient signatures to petition the court to remove Eugene Delgaudio from public office, we will continue to work hard to organize our neighbors to demand better from our elected officials, and we will not be deterred by a rigged system that allows politicians to misuse our precious resources.

NOTES FROM THE GRAND JURY SPECIAL REPORT

While the Grand Jury failed to produce any indictments, they made an unusual effort to issue a report detailing Supervisor Delgaudio’s malfeasance.

View the Grand Jury Report

This report has provided our case for recall with a strong, concise collection of evidence that supports many of the tenets of our petition.

The most critical evidence surfaced from this investigation was testimony verifying that Delgaudio was using the meetings his staff arranged with donors from the email list to solicit campaign donations. Specifically, testimony from one witness stated that Delgaudio handed him an envelope and card soliciting money to “Retire Delgaudio Campaign Debt,” while another witness testified that the purpose of the meeting was so Eugene Delgaudio could ask for a campaign contribution.

Combined with email and handwritten documentation from Delgaudio to his staff aides to spend up to 70% of their county paid time making calls to the Igor list, and Donna Mateer’s well publicized charges that Eugene Delgaudio fired her for refusal to make these calls, this evidence supports our assertions that Supervisor Delgaudio made it a condition of employment to raise money for his political campaigns while working on County time.

Additionally, the report states explicitly that multiple staff aides testified that they were asked their views on religion, same-sex marriage, and other prohibited topics when interviewed for their position. Their testimony also stated that staff meetings were regularly conducted at Public Advocate offices during normal business hours, and that discussions regarding County business were frequently intertwined with business items that pertained to Public Advocate. Additionally, some staff aides testified that they participated in production of Public Advocate’s controversial videos on County-paid time. Finally, testimony confirmed documentary evidence which showed County staff were directed to report to the Executive Assistant for Public Advocate.

Last, and certainly not least in terms of the detrimental impact this disgraceful official has had on our community, are the details that County staff aides and other Supervisors provided in their testimony that verified that Eugene Delgaudio is not only unresponsive, but openly hostile to his constituents. Many complained that they were frequently stuck doing constituent services for Sterling residents even though that was not their district. Delgaudio’s staff testified that he had instructed them not to address constituent concerns in order to focus on fundraising, and that in at least one instance, an aide was reprimanded for trying to resolve a constituent’s problem instead of fundraising.

GET INVOLVED

We will be gathering petitions all day at this Saturday’s Independence Day event at Sterling Golf and Swim. If you have not signed a petition. seek us out to make sure your name is counted. If you know someone who has not signed, please respond to this email and let us know who needs to sign this petition. If you can help us gather petitions, either at this event or some other venue, please let us know so that we can provide you with petitions and information packets and put you on schedule.

The Grand Jury issued a number of recommendations, mostly addressing the lax language in the VA code on corruption, but their final recommendation was as follows:

Recommendation 6: Individual voters need to increase their awareness of and involvement in local
politics and elections.

Audience: The Voting Public

Rationale

While national elections historically tend to generate greater interest, news, debate, etc., local elections
can significantly impact one's life on a wide range of matters such as property taxes, education, local
transportation and community services to name a few.

Discussion

This investigation has been an eye-opening experience for this Jury. As a result we expect to all spend
more time learning about our respective supervisor and other local politicians. We likewise strongly
encourage every other individual who is eligible to vote to learn about his or her local representatives
and candidates and to participate in voting when the time comes.

It is your responsibility to participate in this process. Please forward this to any and everyone you know. We have a small window of opportunity to ensure that this shameful official is, once and for all, removed from the office charged with representing the interests of our beloved Sterling. Let’s finish the job that our broken system could not.

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