Arlington County Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos (D) will officially serve as the prosecutor in the ongoing recall effort to remove Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling), a judge in Loudoun County ruled March 25.
Retired judge Paul Sheridan dismissed a motion by local attorney John Flannery to have Stamos disqualified from the proceedings. Sheridan, a former Arlington County judge, appointed Stamos to the case earlier this month after Loudoun Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman was granted a recusal.
All Loudoun Circuit Court judges were also recused from the hearings.
The case centers around allegations Delgaudio misused public assets and abuse elected office. Several hundred of Delgaudio's constituents filed a petition in January to have the four-term supervisor removed. Central to the petitioners claims are that Delgaudio used public funds to conduct political fundraising for his nonprofit conservative lobbying organization, Public Advocate of the United States, which has been designated an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Delgaudio's foes say the Sterling supervisor's inflammatory rhetoric and fervent anti-gay views have contributed to dysfunction within Loudoun County government.
Stamos is familiar with the case – a primary reason Flannery sought to have her removed and another prosecutor appointed. Stamos led a special grand jury investigation into basically the same allegations last year. That examination included testimony from dozens of witnesses and information-gathering in private, and Stamos, at the conclusion, opted not to bring forward an indictment against Delgaudio.
Flannery argued that, given Stamos' extensive history of the case, the Arlington commonwealth's attorney is biased and doesn't "believe in the cause."
"This is a case that is set for a fight," Flannery said, and he claimed Stamos is not interested in that fight.
Stamos did not directly respond to Flannery's sentiment. She has previously said she will serve at the direction of the court as it pertains to the Delguadio case. Sheridan has insisted Stamos handle the matter for the commonwealth, and he has repeatedly praised her integrity and upstanding work within the judicial system.
In court March 25, Stamos said her objective is to “further the best interest of the commonwealth,” not necessarily the “best interest of the petitioners.”
Delgaudio appeared in court, but he did not speak. He's being represented by Leesburg attorney Charlie King.
In other action, Judge Sheridan narrowed the scope of several subpoenas King issued against opponents of Delgaudio. Sheridan reasoned that many of the subpoenas, including those against LGBT activists Jonathan and David Weintraub, were too broad and unnecessary.
Flannery argued that King submitted the subpoenas strictly to “vex and harass” those who dislike Delgaudio.
The case resumes in Loudoun County Circuit Court May 6 at 11 a.m.
This story has been updated from an earlier version.
-Southern Poverty Law Center defends ‘hate group’ designation of Delgaudio
-Judge will ask Arlington commonwealth’s attorney to serve in Delgaudio case
For more information on the Delgaudio case, including a link to last year's special grand jury report, click here.