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UPDATE: Democrats file recall petition to remove Eugene Delgaudio from office

Representatives of Sterling Deserves Better, an activist group seeking to remove Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) from office, held a press conference Tuesday to discuss a recall petition against Mr. Delgaudio. Attorney John Flannery (seated, left) and former Delgaudio opponent and Sterling Deserves Better spokesman Al Nevarez (seated, right) led the press conference. Times-Mirror Photo/Trevor Baratko
Local Democrats have made good on their promise to navigate through official avenues to remove controversial Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) from office; Leesburg attorney and active Democrat John Flannery filed a recall petition against Mr. Delgaudio in Loudoun County late Monday afternoon.

The petition, organized through an activist group called Sterling Deserves Better, presents the signatures of more than 680 Sterling district voters – well more than the minimum amount needed – pressing for a recall of Mr. Delgaudio.

Loudoun County Circuit Court issued a "rule to show cause" Tuesday morning, meaning Mr. Delgaudio must exhibit "why he shouldn't be removed from office," Mr. Flannery told the Times-Mirror. Essentially, the attorney noted, the petitioners have provided enough evidence making it necessary for the supervisor to respond to the complaint.

“We've crossed the first hurdle,” said Mr. Flannery.

A hearing has been set for Feb. 5 at 4 p.m., though that date could be delayed if the local commonwealth's attorney and judges opt to recuse themselves.

"We have had a history that makes this a credible request of the court to remove a public official," Mr. Flannery said at a press conference Tuesday.

Included within this history is an abuse and misuse of public office and a sweeping incompetence in serving his constituents, Mr. Flannery and other outspoken Democrats claimed.

Mr. Delgaudio, who was elected to a fourth term in 2011, was the subject of a special grand jury investigation in 2013 for allegations he misused public assets, including using county resources to raise funds for his non-profit organization, Public Advocate of the United States, a conservative organization that consistently speaks out against the LGBT community and has been labeled an "anti-gay hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

While the special grand jury did not return an indictment, it took the "extraordinary step" of issuing a report detailing its findings, Loudoun Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn) said last summer, just before the all-Republican board voted to censure Mr. Delgaudio, strip him of any committee powers and take his district budget out of his control.

The grand jury report highlighted testimony of a harsh working environment in Mr. Delgaudio's office, including verbal harassment from the supervisor, a lack of constituent services and a likely, though not blatant, misuse of public funds.

A key point of the grand jury's summary 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 ... "

Mr. Delgaudio has denied any wrongdoing. In an email Tuesday night the supervisor said Sterling “is getting the best Sterling District Supervisor possible right now -- and every day.”

“A former losing liberal candidate is in the media again, today, unhappy with my four times re-election success as Sterling Supervisor,” Mr. Delgaudio noted.

Charles King, an attorney representing Mr. Delgaudio, described the allegations as "a long reach under the statute."

"Although I welcome the opportunity to try Supervisor Delguadio's case, I do not believe the petition will get very far," Mr. King said in a prepared statement.

Section 24.2-233(1) of the Virginia Code provides that “any elected officer” may be removed “for [a] neglect of duty, [b ] misuse of office, or [c] incompetence in the performance of duties when that neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties has a material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office ... "

Mr. Flannery commented, "Plainly, this removal statute contemplates that an elected official’s conduct can be so egregious and his misconduct so damaging to the purpose and process of good government, that limiting the official’s conduct in office and requiring the citizens to wait until the next election, is not a fair and just remedy."

The Democratic activists said during the press conference they want a transparent and comprehensive forum to debate and judge the actions of Mr. Delgaudio.

"Due process isn't just a word. It basically means fundamental fairness, and if you want to have a full and fair and right result, then transparency is important," Mr. Flannery said. "'This is our argument, this is your argument and let's have it.'"

Sterling Deserves Better officials said they filed the petition Monday, rather than several months ago when the petition was finalized, to show that the only interest they have is "good government" and not swaying the outcomes of any recently concluded elections.

Read past coverage here:
-Delgaudio censured, punished by colleagues on all-Republican board

This story has been updated from an earlier version.

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


It says they have produced evidence that requires a answer from Delgaudio. Should that say they have enough signatures to require a response from Eugene. Even with the facts close at hand Flannery hyperboles. There are monthly meeting that show Eugene at work for the good of Loudoun and this trumped up charge about no new library well Eugene is only I vote out of 9. The judge should throw this case out with warnings to Flannery and friends about harassment of public officials!

And the name is ??? See what I mean once you have the best the rest pale by comparison. Maybe Flannery could move into the district and make another failed attempt at getting elected

“Delgaudio wins elections because of very low turnout. Odd that his supporters would suggest his removal from office shouldn’t work the same way”

What a dumb statement.  Democrats have as much opportunity to get out and vote as any other Party.  But when they can’t win at the ballot box, they employ rich (anyone else notice the glaring income inequality between Flannery and DelGaudio?), self-promoters and opportunists like John P. Flannery II, a Teddy Kennedy wannabe and transplant from New York, to try and overturn what the citizens decided.  And when you cite the Southern Poverty Law Center as some sort of plumb line for justice, you’ve just lost all credibility.

By the way, Mr. Flannery, I note that your motto is “There is no substitute for passion.”  You’re wrong.  There is no substitute for Truth.

Possibly cowbell.  Easier to start with those who have been censored and/or sanctioned for their ethical issues.  Hence, the justified heat on Delgaudio.

Delgaudio wins elections because of very low turnout. Odd that his supporters would suggest his removal from office shouldn’t work the same way

Come on Mephisto, give credit where it’s due. Delguadio wins elections because he is always everywhere (yes, with his orange hat.) You might not like his politics, but his work ethic is hard to dispute and it pays off at the ballot box. While a low turnout might slip somebody in under the radar once, Delguadio has won four times in a row, the last time garnering a majority with three candidates in the race (including the one of the defeateds who is now leading the recall effort.)

If a low turnout was all it took to win elections, the GOP would have snatched Mark Herring’s state senate seat, with only one race on the ballot and a miserable snowstorm. But instead Democrat Jennifer Wexton one a majority, despite third-party candidate Joe May being on the ballot.

I don’t have a problem with getting rid of corrupt politicians but why stop with Eugene? About 90% of northern va politicians are corrupt. Frank Wolf did very little and spent 35 years milking a nice pension and benefits. Same goes for Moran. Kaine gave DTR away to MWAA. Warner thinks we need more H1Bs vs using US taxpayers with same credentials… Tag is wasting time and money on grading schools.

Has anyone commented on the extraordinary grassroots campaigns that Eugene has run in order to win re-election time after time after time after time? Why not? Take a Barney Al Miller trifecta against Eugene and again he would be victorious hands down. If there was a better candidate republican, democrat or independent then by all means you should vote for them the problem you all have is Eugene is the best there is. Tell me a name you prefer, any name, anyone from the last election cycle from any district that would be a better Supervisor for Sterling? Can’t do it can you?

Delgaudio wins elections because of very low turnout. Odd that his supporters would suggest his removal from office shouldn’t work the same way

Regardless of all the partisan negativity posted on this story, I’m surprised that no one has said what an incredible amount of grassroots effort this endeavor was.  To gain 668+ signatures means these volunteers likely knocked on more than 4,400 doors.  That’s a massive undertaking & those who obtain these “lawful” signatures should be proud of the hard work.

Elections have consequences! Nothing here for Democratic Party activists, time to move along. Also, No one really cares what kind of sex grown up people like, it’s only when you try to make your choice public and with attendant rights that irritates people. Redefining family and marriage all because some people like their sex a certain way is just crazy.

Fred Sanford, since you seem to believe that being gay is a choice, was it a difficult decision for you not to be gay? LOL

No sane person ever had to make this decision. It’s something you’re born with, or not.

Will somebody please appoint Al Nevarez to something?! He is a man badly in need to a title and a hobby.

Nobody has been denied marriage in Virginia. Virginians have defined what constitutes a valid marriage. If the lifestyle choices of people don’t meet that definition, that is their problem.

Has Eugene’s hate website been buzzing with activity about the impending overturn of the gay marriage ban?

Case Dismissed. The Democrats are grasping at straws because they can’t defeat Delgaudio at the ballot box.

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