Loudoun County must pay $35,000 in attorney fees relating to the failed recall effort against county Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling).
The Hon. Paul Sheridan, a retired Arlington County judge, made the ruling in Leesburg Friday afternoon. Sheridan last month dismissed the recall petition against Delgaudio, granting the request of Arlington Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos, a Democrat who took on the case after Loudoun's commonwealth, a Republican, was recused to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Sheridan also determined Friday the proceedings and testimony from the 2013 special grand jury investigation into Delgaudio's office will remain sealed. The grand jury was investigating allegations that Delgaudio misused public assets -- claims that played a large role in the recall effort by nearly 700 of the supervisor's Sterling constituents.
Speaking from the bench, Sheridan noted the fee requested from Delgaudio's attorney, Charles King, seemed low. The judge implied King likely could have billed the county a greater amount.
The roughly $35,000, Sheridan said, was a "modest" and "reasonable" request from King.
In a prepared statement earlier this week, King said: "I've been asked: Why can't the petitioners, not the taxpayers, be ordered to pay Supervisor Delgaudio's legal fees? The answer is the Virginia Code grants immunity to the signers of a removal petition from being ordered to pay fees. By statute, the body in which the official serves must pay any fees ordered."
Read past coverage:
-"Dismissed: Recall effort against Delgaudio tossed out"
-- June 24
-"Delgaudio regains control of $120K Sterling District budget"
-- July 17
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