UPDATED: Supervisors silent on Delgaudio investigation
Read the latest on the Eugene Delgaudio investigation here:
By early February at the latest, Loudoun County residents – and anyone keeping eyes on the case – should know whether Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio broke county policy by initiating political fundraising on the county’s dime.
Loudoun officials recently retained the services of a former FBI agent to lead the investigation into whether Delgaudio, a Republican from Sterling, directed former staff aide Donna Mateer to set up appointments with potential campaign donors. The inquiry, supposedly already underway, is expected to be finished in 60-90 days.
While a letter from county attorney Jack Roberts to the former FBI agent Dan Wright confirms the county hired Wright on Oct. 26, none of the nine Republican supervisors have commented publicly on the investigation or the hiring. No formal press releases or announcements were made noting the probe’s launch.
Also raising eyebrows, Wright is expected to partner with attorney Amy Hutchens on the case, according to the letter from Roberts to Wright. Hutchens, an attorney with Watermark Risk Management International, formerly served as associate general counsel at M.C. Dean, an electrical and systems integration firm. M.C. Dean has made numerous a campaign contributions to Delgaudio in the past.
Scope of the investigation, according to Roberts-Wright correspondence, will include interviews with the complainant or other witnesses, a review of pertinent documents, a determination of facts, a review of county policies and a final report laying out results.
The letter between Roberts and Wright also notes the investigation was supposed to begin no later than Nov. 5, though Mateer has yet to be contacted by Wright or Hutchens, according to Mateer’s attorney, former Loudoun County Supervisor Stevens Miller, who served on the board as a Democrat.
The investigators will be compensated $125 per hour for their work, as well as travel and other reimbursements. The total cost of the investigation is not to exceed $15,000.
In early October, the Loudoun supervisors voted unanimously to initiate the investigation.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York (R-At Large) and Roberts could not immediately be reached for comment.
At the board’s Nov. 7 meeting, Charles King, an attorney representing Delgaudio, urged the board during public comment to reconsider the selections of the investigators, considering the appearance of conflict of interest.
“Supervisor Delgaudio objects to the choice of these investigators that have been hired by the county,” King said. “His concern is these particular investigators have ties to Loudoun County, which create an appearance of impropriety, which will taint the investigation.”
King went on to state the the Sterling supervisor worries he’ll be denied a fair hearing.
“Even if [Delgaudio] wins, he could lose,” King said.
Also during public comment Nov. 7, Dulles resident Larry Roeder addressed the board to speak more on Delgaudio’s private work as president of Public Advocate of the United States, a non-profit organization labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Roeder, a Democrat who ran for the Board of Supervisors in 2011, said Delgaudio’s colleagues are partially responsible for allowing the Sterling supervisor’s prejudice to go on.
“Mr. Delgaudio’s long tirade against the gay, lesbian, transgender community is abject prejudice, bigotry,” Roeder said. “He needs to be removed from all positions of responsibility in the board of supervisors. Otherwise, it seems to me that the board of supervisors is in essence endorsing his bigotry—giving him a stand upon which to attack citizens throughout the county.”
Public Advocate, which is managed predominantly by Delgaudio, is currently the defendant of a federal lawsuit in Colorado for the unauthorized use of a gay couple’s wedding photo in anti-homosexual propaganda. Public Advocate’s lawyer motioned to dismiss the case in Colorado Nov. 2.
This story has been updated from an earlier version.