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    Supervisors Clarke, Higgins: The defenders of Delgaudio?

    Loudoun County Supervisors Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin) and Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge) voted against the most severe punishment for Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling). Photos Courtesy/Facebook
    Embattled Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio wasn't alone on an island when he took a scolding from some of his colleagues July 17; instead, several seats to his right sat Supervisors Geary Higgins and Janet Clarke, pleading for more “due process” and less sanctions against their controversial colleague.

    Both Clarke (R-Blue Ridge) and Higgins (R-Catoctin) supported a motion from Delgaudio to create a board ad hoc committee to examine the findings of a special grand jury that investigated Delgaudio for improperly using public resources. That motion failed to earn majority support for the board.

    According to the grand jury's June 24 report, the information for which was collected from testimony under oath, there is circumstantial evidence supporting that Delgaudio used Loudoun County resources for political campaigning in 2011 and 2012.

    The report states Delgaudio directed a Loudoun County legislative aide to set up appointments with individuals from a political donor list, and that Delgaudio directed his county aides to report directly to the executive assistant for Public Advocate of the United States, a “conservative” nonprofit advocacy group known for its staunch anti-gay propaganda.

    Commenting on the report, Board Vice Chair Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) said, “It is clear that Mr. Delgaudio was assigning his staff aides to set up meetings for the purposes of political fundraising.”

    So it was a natural move for the six supervisors who voted to severely restrict Delgaudio's authority to oversee his district's more than $100,000 annual budget.

    But Higgins and Clarke opposed any restrictions on the Sterling District budget.

    Higgins, during the meeting, said he's “very disappointed” and “concerned” about the allegations against Delgaudio, but he voiced that Delgaudio's side of the story hasn't been heard.

    “I'm not interested in prolonging the agony here any longer than necessary,” Higgins said. “But I do believe in due process.”

    During the July 17 meeting, Delgaudio was allotted unlimited time to address the grand jury's findings, which he called allegations. He didn't do so.

    Why did Higgins vote to let the Sterling District funds remain under Delgaudio's control?

    “I will not support stripping the Sterling election district of its resources unless the board sets out to gather all the facts and allow Mr. Delgaudio to respond to the allegations,” Higgins said.

    Under the board's budget restriction, all Sterling district funds were moved into a corporate board budget account and “will be held for the purposes of serving the Sterling residents under the direction and approval of the Board of Supervisors until Dec. 31, 2015.” “All expenses for the Sterling District must be approved by formal action of the board,” with the exception of smaller expenses like office supplies and cellphone and iPad data usage, according to the motion.

    Higgins today said he wasn't as opposed to restricting Delgaudio's budget as he was eliminating the Sterling District legislative aides. With no Sterling office aides, Higgins said he doesn't understand how the district's residents can receive the services they need, especially if they have a complaint.

    “That punishes the residents of Sterling, not Mr. Delgaudio,” Higgins said. He pointed out that his proposal July 17, which did not earn the board's support, would've kept aides for Sterling, but under the condition that other board members or staff sign off on their time cards.

    Supervisors who favored eliminating staff aides for Delgaudio said it was necessary, considering Delgaudio's use of county-paid assistants is what prompted the controversy and the investigation.

    Clarke too said she would've preferred the board create a committee specifically to examine the grand jury's findings and offer Delgaudio more opportunity to comment on the report. The Blue Ridge supervisor mostly echoed Higgins' comments, saying she didn't want the sanctions to disadvantage the residents of Sterling.

    On the issue of staff aides, Clarke said she didn't fault Delgaudio's assistants, but rather the supervisor himself.

    "It was the direction provided to them that was the problem. It was not necessarily their fault," she said.


    This story has been updated from a previous version.

    Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


    Comments

    Look, I’m not too impressed with Higgings, he doesn’t show up for half the board meetings. When he does show this is what he decides to harp over? The man needs to get his head on straight and worry about his own district or he can follow Delgaudio right out the door!!!


    Careful you might get the drizzles worrying about the damage to be done with a I-pad!


    I’m not so sure about the iPad usage. Supervisor Delgaudio has been known to tutor the other supervisors on how to find attachments in staff prepared iPad content. The Sterling Supervisor can still do a lot of damage with that thing.

    Regarding constituent services, if an impartial aide handles them, maybe people from the “enemies” list will get them, and people from the “friends” list will no longer have special rights.


    Finally, board members that have respect for the law they’re supposed to be upholding! A big thank you to Supervisors Higgins and Clarke!


    “why are they saying they can perform functions for their constituents AND Sterling constituents simultaneously[?]”

    Because they already are. Watch the meeting. Read the report.


    “Here’s the thing: The other six supervisors made very clear that the Sterling district was not being “stripped of its resources,” only that the administration of those resources was being changed.”

    Have the citizens of Sterling voted in Delgaudio for over a decade or these other supervisors?  They voted for Delguadio, therefore, it should all come from his office and not other supervisors.

    Riddle me this Batman.  If the supervisors keep complaining that they have so much work to do on just a part-time salary, then why are they saying they can perform functions for their constituents AND Sterling constituents simultaneously.  Seems like some supervisors are speaking out of both sides of their mouths (or, in York’s case, both sides of his body).


    Here’s the thing: The other six supervisors made very clear that the Sterling district was not being “stripped of its resources,” only that the administration of those resources was being changed. As for the aides, the testimony is overwhelming, both from aides within the Sterling office and aides from other districts, that Delgaudio did not allow his aides to provide constituent services or attend meetings with other aides. The board can’t take away something from Sterling district residents that they weren’t getting to begin with. Nothing will change because of the sanctions.

    I have evidence obtained via FOIA that supports this testimony. It is apparent that “constituent services” are doled out by Mr. Delgaudio as a reward for being a “friend” or a “team player.” Many requests for help from mere mortals are simply ignored - or even passed around to his political cronies like Dave LaRock to be ridiculed.


    So Clarke and Higgins worked with Delgaudio all this time and said and did nothing…and then when it was revealed that he was misusing funds and staff they want to protect the citizens of Sterling?  Give me a break.


    Their point was that by pulling funding you are hurting the constituents and not the Supervisor.  It was a pointless punishment.  Why vote to hurt the constituents?

    “During the July 17 meeting, Delgaudio was allotted unlimited time to address the grand jury’s findings, which he called allegations. He didn’t do so.”

    Not entirely truthful.  He asked that his lawyer speak on his behalf and was denied that opportunity.  Why not let the man’s lawyer speak if they wanted answers?

    Again, this is a left-wing radical withchunt which the liberal R majority was happy to appease.  I’m sure it has nothing to do with Delgaudio beating York for Sterling Supervisor long ago or that fact that Delgaudio successfully voted to strip York of his powers years back.  York is kind, he wouldn’t do something spiteful (like threaten the Leesburg Town Council for opposing a North-South corridor), would he?


    Seems to me if you are going to restrict MY tax dollars, and fire the staff that support ME, then I deserve a refund and so due all the other tax paying residents of Sterling. But that is not realistic or going to happen.

    This BOS needs to put on their big kid pants. Slap Eugene on the hands, move his aides to one of their offices, have Verizon forward the Sterling phone exchange to the office the BOS chose if necessary and get on with the work they were voted to do.

    While I’m sure we all are offended that a BOS member is using staff for his political gain, how can we not be just as offended by other BOS members taking political contributions from developers and making promises to them (i.e. the paving over of LOCO for the North-South corridor) and some of those calls were probably made to/from a BOS office phone and fielded/made by an BOS office aide.

    Until the politics as usual changes, things like this will continue and will continue to get worse.

    EVERYONE of the voters in LOCO needs to remember that NO BOS member will sign an ethics pledge and I’m sure none would vote to have term limits implemented or vote not accept gifts, contributions, or whatever else a lobbyist gives them these days.


    Supervisors Higgins and Clarke should be thanked for their defense of Due Process and doing what is right. They both took a measured approach to this situation and asked the questions that were necessary to ensure fairness. Unfortunately “Group Think” got the better of the rest of the BOS and they would not listen to reason.

    The Sterling Constituents thank you both!


    Seems to me that they were defending Genie’s aids and the Sterling residents, not the manboy himself.


    Janet Clarke and Geary Higgins were the only reasonable, ration, adults in the room.  The rest of them are just going along with Scott York’s sick vendetta against Eugene Delgaudio.  It’s gone on for far too long.  Shame on the board of supervisors for supporting his nonsense.


    Seems to be MS. Clarke has had some issues of her own.


    In my opinion, Supervisor Delguadio has always been ready, willing, and actually has helped his constituents.  He sure is entitled to have his story told if he chooses.


    DEFENDERS OF DELGAUDIO: Supervisors Geary Higgins and Janet Clarke most certainly did resist the efforts of their Republican colleagues to hold Delgaudio responsible for his actions. Their repeated calls for deferrals on any action were starkly contrasted by the rest of the Board’s determination of Delgaudio’s malfeasance. They consistently disavowed the right of the BoS to take action against Delgaudio.  It became apparent to the Loudoun community members in the chamber that these two Supervisors were determined to maintain Delgaudio’s current status on the Board.

    The question is WHY? What was their motivation? The words “due process” appeared to be used as code words for some other objective. What were they to gain by giving Delgaudio such strident support in the face of such overwhelming evidence of his malfeasance? Is this a situation where, as with the investigation of Delgaudio, we should FOLLOW THE MONEY? I think their actions have raised questions in the minds of the constituents in the Catoctin and Blue Ridge Districts. Hopefully, these concerns will be raised in the district meetings of these two Supervisors.

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