Delgaudio investigator on list of potential political donors
The name of the former FBI agent hired by Loudoun County to lead the investigation of Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio was included on one of Delgaudio’s list of potential political donors, Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York (R-At Large) said Nov. 12.
This fact, paired with the disclosure of new documents pertaining to the allegations that Delgaudio used county resources to conduct political fundraising, led to the transfer of the case to the Arlington commonwealth’s attorney for further examination Nov. 8, York said.
In addition, the county’s own administrative review – for which the former FBI agent, Dan Wright, was hired – was suspended.
Wright declined to comment on the case when reached by phone Nov. 12.
York plans to convene a special Board of Supervisors meeting Nov. 20 for the sole purpose of discussing the Delgaudio inquiry.
York’s comments added another element of wonderment to the case against the controversial Delgaudio, the Republican supervisor for Sterling. Delgaudio was the target of a Washington Post report in September that featured one of Delgaudio’s former aides, Donna Mateer, saying she was directed by Delgaudio to initiate meetings for potential political donations while being compensated by the county.
Loudoun County policy dictates that political fundraising is forbidden using county resources.
In early October, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to initiate an investigation into the accusations against Delgaudio. On Oct. 26 the county hired Wright without an announcement or information of the case’s advancement.
Then in a surprising shift Nov. 9, two days after it was reported that Loudoun officials retained Wright to lead the probe, county leadership announced the Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney, Theophani Stamos, would again review the case. Additionally, Wright’s investigation would be discontinued.
Mateer’s initial protestations were reported to county officials in March. The county has maintained that York, County Attorney Jack Roberts and County Administrator Tim Hemstreet then took the complaint to Plowman, who in turn asked Stamos to review the evidence.
Stamos surveyed the accusations in the spring – and potentially into the summer – but did not recommend pursuing a case against the Sterling supervisor. At the time, however, she did not have access to the new material noted in the county’s Nov. 9 press release.
It remains unclear what the new material contains. York said he was not at liberty to discuss specifics of the new documentation, noting only it includes additional details of Mateer’s complaint against Delgaudio.
According to the county’s Nov. 9 announcement, Plowman requested the Circuit Court appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the complaint made by Mateer. The court tapped Stamos for the inquiry.
Plowman handed off the case to avoid any potential conflict of interest, he said.
“The request was based on additional material provided to the Commonwealth’s Attorney by the [Loudoun] county attorney [Jack Roberts] that had not previously been reviewed,” according to the county’s press release. York said he was surprised Stamos had not, to his knowledge, contacted Mateer during the previous review.
Charles King, at attorney representing Delgaudio, issued a statement to the media Nov. 12, saying “the public needs to understand it’s routine to bring in a prosecutor from another county to investigate when there are question about the conduct of a local elected official.”
“Otherwise, you would have one local elected official investigating another local elected official,” King stated.
King said he agrees with Stamos’ initial recommendation not to pursue a case against Delgaudio.
“Although the Arlington Commonwealth’s Attorney was appointed, the actual investigation will be done by an experienced law enforcement officer, probably a Special Agent with the Virginia State Police,” King said. “The Commonwealth’s Attorney only investigates crimes. Ms. Mateer’s office environment allegations are not within the scope of the investigation.”