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    Delgaudio Case: Were Loudoun County hiring policies violated?

    Court documents filed June 24 related to the now-dismissed recall petition against Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio suggest Delgaudio may have broken county hiring policy by asking a Sterling woman seeking a public position her views on homosexuality, politics and religion.

    In an interview with the Times-Mirror, Delgaudio (R-Sterling) did not dispute that he asked questions about social issues, gay marriage and religion while interviewing the woman for a county-funded position, and a formal investigation into Delgaudio's office by Arlington Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos found the “supervisor did ask potential staffers their views on a number of politically sensitive subjects."

    Donna Mateer, the woman interviewed by the controversial supervisor in 2011, said that during her conversation Delgaudio asked about her “religious beliefs, political choices, marriage and homosexuals.”

    The county's General Principles and Governing Policies document states the Board of Supervisors has “declared that the county does not discriminate against employees or applicants for employment based on political affiliation, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”

    Additionally, Loudoun County, an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer, guarantees “fair treatment of applicants and employees in all aspects of personnel management without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other non-merit factors and with proper regard for their privacy and constitutional rights as citizens will be assured” and that “employees will be protected against coercion for partisan political purposes and will be prohibited from using their official authority for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election or a nomination for office,” according to county policy.

    When then-County Attorney Jack Roberts was asked in late June whether it would be legal for a supervisor to ask someone their religion and views on sexual orientation while interviewing that person for a legislative aide position, Roberts said simply “no comment.”

    On further questioning, county spokeswoman Robin Geiger said “county supervisors and managers are expected to comply with all applicable county policies and procedures when interviewing employees for county positions.”

    Delgaudio and his attorney, Charles King, say asking someone their sexual orientation or religion during an interview for a legislative aide position isn't illegal because the post is a “political appointment.”

    Moreover, “The Commonwealth does not believe that probing about an individual's political and religious beliefs during an interview for a political appointment constitutes misuse of office,” Stamos stated in her motion to dismiss, which was granted June 24.

    When asked about his interviewing practices, Delgaudio said, “I think you're asking if a political person can ask political questions, and that was the intent of any questions I asked … I'm not exactly shy about my position on traditional values.”

    Delgaudio is the founder and president of Public Advocate of the United States, a conservative advocacy group widely known for its outspoken rejection of gays and lesbians. A leading civil rights advocacy organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center, has labeled Public Advocate an anti-gay hate group.

    Delgaudio interviewed Mateer at a Chic-fil-A restaurant, hired her in August 2011 and fired her roughly six months later.

    Legislative aides for county supervisors are publicly funded, “at will” employees who are not entitled to the same workplace protections as other county staff.


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

    Comments

    The Stamos report is full of interesting commentary.  Including the fact that Igor Kyrylenko agreed to prepare a list of big money “political donors” for Delgaudio’s use.  Mateer, King and Delgaudio have confirmed that Mateer called the Igor list. Calls made on county time.

    Further, Stamos states:  “It is possible that Supervisor Delgaudio was using general language to set up meetings specifically intended for his own political purposes…The Commonwealth was able to speak with a few individuals who met with Supervisor Delgaudio.  Most observed that they sensed that Supervisor Delgaudio was seeking a donation for something.  Three individuals indicated that Supervisor Delgaudio actually asked for a donation.  Two suggested he may have mentioned his campaign or the work of Public Advocate.”

    Stamos concludes by saying without further specific proof, the Commonwealth cannot meet its burden of providing by clear and convincing evidence that these meetings were set up with the specific objective of aiding Delgaudio’s political fortune.

    That sounds like a whole heck of a lot of smoke to me. 


    this is getting sad and pathetic. The Times and it’s liberal lapdog Baratko can’t get past their seething disdain of Delgaudio, who has beaten them (and all charges) at every turn. It appears objectivity is not possible at this point.


    FredSanford,

    Apparently, based on the recall ruling, Mateer was hired to work as a Supervisor’s Aide not an aide for Public Advocate.  As absurd as it is, I can comprehend sensitive questions being asked to a potential employee of PA, but those same sensitive questions are not relevant to someone who is to serve ALL members of the public.  It’s not a political position it is a public servant position. 

    That is unless the individual is going to be spending their time doing political work for the aggrandizement of the Supervisor. 

    So which is it Delgaudio, you can’t have it both ways.  Was Mateer hired as a public servant or as a political servant?

    I can guarantee you one thing, it makes me happy that King is still on the clock and I completely support every effort to challenge Delgaudio moving forward.  I want King fully employed by Delgaudio.  I can’t wait until King is shepherding around Delgaudio to campaign events in Sterling.  Oh happy days!


    This story has no credibility as long as this newspaper permits its columns to be used to further the bitter partisan agenda of people who want Delgaudio gone. And their attorney, who wants his fees to be paid by the government.


    Clearly this newspaper has a vendetta against this guy. Give it up. The next election is not that far away. You can go after him the democratic way if you really want to “get him”.


    At least voters aren’t going to be able to pretend that Delgaudio’s day job as anti-gay/traditional family huckster has no impact on the job he does for Sterling as Supervisor.  Since Delgaudio has merged his two jobs, the next election is a referendum on whether Sterling supports Public Advocate.


    Political appointments are all about sticking people into positions which share the same ideology as you. So asking a whole range of questions allows one to determine if that appointee will uphold your ideology in their post. One’s ideology does not have to be restricted to what the Government finds objectionable. After all, how would one go about changing the Government if they couldn’t exercise their 1st Amendment freedom of expression? Would it be wrong for a liberal to ask if a potential appointee was a member of a Latino Advancement organization to determine if they would be a good fit for a zoning board position?

    I’m glad the law came down on the side of righteousness.  “The Commonwealth does not believe that probing about an individual’s political and religious beliefs during an interview for a political appointment constitutes misuse of office,” Stamos stated in her motion to dismiss, which was granted June 24.

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