UPDATE: Delgaudio v. Loudoun Board of Supervisors; supervisor files legal complaint
Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Horne this morning denied an injunction request from Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling), meaning the Board of Supervisors is likely to proceed tonight with plans to discipline the embattled Delgaudio, according to Delgaudio's attorney, Charlie King.
Horne ruled the board holds authority to impose sanctions on one of its members.
According to numerous supervisors, possible punishment for Delgaudio includes defunding his office budget.
Originial story: July 15
Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) today initiated legal action against the governing body on which he serves by filing a complaint in the Loudoun County Circuit Court.
The complaint, which lists Delgaudio as the plaintiff and the Loudoun Board of Supervisors as the defendant, requests the local court issue a declaratory judgment and impose an injunction against the Board of Supervisors.
The requests were prompted by recent comments from supervisors indicating Delgaudio is likely to be disciplined at the board's July 17 business meeting; this as a result of the final report from a special grand jury investigating the embattled supervisor from Sterling, according to Delgaudio's attorney, Charlie King.
King claims Delgaudio has not had an opportunity to defend himself against the grand jury's report, which states Delgaudio, among other actions, took a $5,000 cash contribution not included in campaign finance reports, directed legislative aides not to respond to constituents' requests and used county staff to set up political fundraising appointments.
An injunction from the circuit court would mean the Board of Supervisors delay or refrain from disciplinary action against Delgaudio.
According to the request for declaratory relief, “Although the board need not operate similar to a court, some modicum of due process must be accorded to [Delgaudio] before action is taken against him.”
Moreover, Delgaudio and King are requesting “the applicable minimum requirements of due process include, but are not limited to: (1) written formal charges; (2) adequate advance notice of a hearing; (3) the right to cross-examine witnesses; (4) the opportunity to defend himself; (5) access to compulsory process for witnesses and documents; and (6) a transcript of the proceedings conducted by the board,” according to the complaint.
King argues Delgaudio's “basis for relief comes only and directly from the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution.”
“Is it a violation of due process for the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to secretly decide what sanctions should be imposed on the [Delgaudio] without giving him any notice of their intended actions or the opportunity to defend himself?”
Additionally, King said Delgaudio is worried any sanctions imposed on him, such as eliminating his office budget, could be used against him in a petition effort to remove him from office.
The special grand jury's report, released in late June, doesn't pinpoint any criminal activity by Delgaudio, but it highlights testimony of a potentially harsh working environment in the Sterling supervisor's office, a lack of focus on constituent services and a likely, but not blatant, misuse of county resources.
A key point of the report states: Virginia code “criminalizes such action only for 'full-time' employees … Because Loudoun County pays a nominal salary to members of the Board of Supervisors there is a general expectation that Board of Supervisors have another source of income … "
Delgaudio has consistently denied any wrongdoing. During a press conference after the jury's report was made public, the supervisor would not answer questions from the media.