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Dismissed: Recall effort against Delgaudio tossed out

Hushing the adversaries of embattled Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, Judge Paul Sheridan today dismissed the recall petition against the four-term Sterling supervisor, potentially ending nearly two year's worth of outcry claiming Delgaudio abused public employees and misused county resources.

In so doing, Sheridan accepted the recommendation from Arlington Commonwealth's Attorney Theophani Stamos, a Democrat who was prosecuting the case on behalf of the commonwealth. Stamos said there was not “clear and convincing evidence” to take the recall effort to trial.

The anti-Delgaudio petitioners, known in court filings as the Citizens of Sterling, alleged their supervisor used public employees and Loudoun tax dollars for political fundraising. Moreover, the Citizens of Sterling group claimed the supervisor's inflammatory rhetoric and fervent anti-gay views have caused dysfunction within Loudoun County government.

But Stamos, in her motion to dismiss, wrote “the Commonwealth cannot rely on conjecture, speculation, suspicions, and assumptions to support this extraordinary statutory procedure.” The prosecutor firmly refuted accusations by Delgaudio opponents who claimed she didn't expend energy to investigate the petitioners' charges.

Speaking on his client's victory, Charlie King, Delgaudio's attorney, said the “snipe hunt for Eugene Delgaudio is over.”

“Before the bloggers chime in, everybody should know this case ended because there was no evidence,” King said.

The Delgaudio team's victory came despite a heated plea from Leesburg attorney John Flannery, the chosen counsel of more than 650 of Delgaudio's constituents, who pressed to have the four-term Sterling supervisor displaced from office, or, at least, have the matter sent to trial.

After recently moving to have Stamos dismissed from the case, Flannery argued that taking the matter to trial could go a long way to assure the public “we're not protecting the political class.” The fight against Delgaudio is not about political parties, but rather “a distrust of public officials,” he added.

Flannery repeatedly claimed Stamos did not “believe in the underlying cause of the case” and “wasn't up for a fight.”

Stamos seldom responded directly to Flannery, maintaining that her duty was to “represent the commonwealth” and “uphold the rule of law.”

In her dismissal motion, Stamos noted, “Two years, hundreds of hours, and thousands of dollars have been expended investigating this matter. A much better use of petitioners' time – and that of the lawyers who represent them – might well be to identify and recruit a candidate from Sterling to run against Mr. Delgaudio in the next election.”

A hard-line social conservative, Delgaudio has been embroiled in conflict for nearly two years. Last year, he was the subject of a Stamos-led special grand jury investigation into similar allegations outlined in the petitioners' recall attempt, including using county resources to raise funds for his nonprofit 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.

The claims were first highly publicized in a Washington Post story.

King mentioned the Post story at a press conference following the dismissal, saying Delgaudio's former legislative aide lied to the newspaper and to county Chairman Scott York (R-At Large).

While the special grand jury did not return an indictment, it took the atypical step of issuing a final report detailing its findings. That report was issued one year ago today, and it led Loudoun's all-Republican board to censure Delgaudio, strip him of any committee powers and take his district budget out of his control.

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

Delgaudio consistently denied any wrongdoing.

“All the allegations were wrong, untruthful and unfounded … The legal system has proved itself,” Delgaudio said outside the courthouse today. “And I believe the people of Sterling deserve a supervisor that represents them capably. They've had that for four terms.”

Related documents:

-Special Grand Jury Report

Related coverage:

-Democrats file recall petition to remove Eugene Delgaudio from office -- Jan. 28
-Delgaudio dropping legal action against board colleagues -- Aug. 30, 2013
-Delgaudio censured, punished by colleagues on all-Republican board -- July 18, 2013

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Bravo Barbara J!

Chris N.  It was called “Sterling Deserves Better” and it was not fueled by a politician who was after Delgaudio’s seat.  It was fueled by MANY residents who care about their community and happen to have the guts to step forward and fight.  I actually started a less formal petition more than 4 years ago based on Delgaudio’s poor representation, unprofessionalism, and bad talking the exact community he is supposed to positively represent.  So believe it or not, this is not politically motivated , but rather residents of the Sterling District who are tired of bad representation.  AND, to your, and Constitutions point of who will pay for the cost…..A real representative, a real man, would have stepped down rather than put his district, his county through this headache. 

OpenMic, you obviously didn’t see Flannery in action during the court proceedings.  Even Judge Sheridan complimented him on his professionalism. The petitioners were well represented. This case wasn’t lost because of him.

Good point, Constitution. And don’t forget Alfonso Nevarez, head of the ill-fated “Loudoun Deserves Better.” It could be argued that his desire for Delguadio’s Supervisor seat fueled this whole thing. If they thought they had a prayer of taking the seat in a fair election, then the lawsuit would have been a non-issue.

Looks like the county will have to pay Delgaudio’s legal fees. way to go Flannery, Weintraubs and Millers!

I, as a 23 year resident of Sterling Park, am fed up with some of our community and of our BOS representation.  We moved to this community because we loved the older homes, the lots, the amazing reputation of the neighborhood schools, and the people we saw in the community.  Several years into our life here, having 4 boys, being involved in the sports, schools and community, we noticed an obvious “good ‘ole boy” attitude among many residents.  This is what has made Sterling fall, and not improve and move with the times.  This is what is making our community fight against each other and use up valuable time and energy.  We need to put down the attitudes, and decide that we are going to accept ALL of our community so that we can make it great.  It may be good to start with our current BOS rep.  Mr. Delgaudio needs to keep his personal opinions about people to himself and do what he was elected to do, represent ALL of the people in his district, not just those who vote for him.  He needs to be politically correct when he is speaking of our community, our home, and speak positively and with support.  He needs to use his privileges as a public official appropriately and professionally.  However, mostly it depends on us, the residents of the Sterling district.  We need to unite and take control of our community.  We need to accept ALL people, and support our neighbors, library, community center, schools, and organizations.  We need to let the rest of Loudoun County know how much we love our community, and what we need from our county to make it great again.

Attorney John Flannery is the face of all that’s wrong with the Democratic Party.  Fancying himself as the poster child of noblesse oblige, Loudoun’s own Little Lord Fountleroy is a Kennedy wannabe lacking substance in everything except his own personal regard for his wonderfulness. How he dupes anyone in employing him is however a testimony to.how you can fool some of the people…..sometimes.

Agent J,
are you also disgusted by the IRS cover up. Or how about the Benghazi Cover up. Or how about the VA Scandal? Are you disgusted with the thousand illegals pouring into our nations borders? Are you disgusted with our so called leader/presidents indecisiveness? For some reason I bet you could careless about the above mentioned. But you are all over Delgaudio. Get your priorities straight.

Actually, all of Sterling loses because Delgaudio is still here.  Hopefully come next election the people of Sterling will show that they are a little smarter now, something that haven’t shown in the past.

A big win for Sterling who still is lacking representation.

Democrats lose again. Suckers.

Adult beverages are flowing for the confirmed righteous ones. The spiked Kool-Aid drinkers have a sour taste in their mouths brought on by their attorneys who lied to them. Flannery used them to gain name recognition and has since departed for another state to drown his sorrows. We bid him adieu and don’t hurry back. Next time plan ahead and get the L bus for losers like Stevens, Al, Tony and the Board of supervisors with their knee jerk response to the issue. Enough is enough!

Constitution what are you talking about? Delgaudio got out of trouble on a technicality which is why the BoS took his power. Donna Mateer’s statements have not been proven false that is just hyperbole from Delgaudio and his slime ball lawyer.

How is it libelous to tell the truth? I am betting Ms Mateer is wishing she never got involved with these people. The was nothing to prove, but she was used by a group of citizens that wanted to enact personal revenge. It is all pretty sickening.

I couldn’t be more disgusted by this ruling.

How is Mr King’s comment about Donna Mateer not libelous? She is a private citizen, not a plaintiff, correct? And she was a stand-up person who was in a position to know what the esteemed supervisor was really doing with his official office. Shame on you Mr. King. You had plenty of material without attacking a non-partisan public servant. More public dollars will be wasted paying you to defend a public official who exhibits utter contempt for ethics in office. Kind of sounds like the Board of Equalization case only with public dollars flowing to the other attorney this time. What a public disgrace for all involved.

He only won the last one because of there being several people on the ticket splitting the opposing vote.

You need to check your facts, fedupdude. Delguadio didn’t have “several” opponents last time. He had two, and still received 52.8% of the vote.

The runner-up was Alfonso Nevarez, with only 38.1%. So he has an awful lot of ground to make up. Since the last election, Delguadio has been an ubiquitious presence in Sterling, seemingly everywhere. While Nevarez has only cemented his place as a sore loser with his ill-fated “Loudoun Deserves Better.”

And finally, you can’t assume that votes for last election’s independent candidate, Ali Shahriari, would migrate to Nevarez, if he secures the Dem nomination. Based on what I saw working the polls during that election, “affinity voters” came out of the woodwork to support Shariari. They were there to support their breathren, not to oppose Delgaudio.

Nevarez, on the other hand, spent nearly his entire campaign trying to be the anti-Delgaudio. So it’s fair to assume that most, if not all, the anti-Delguadio vote was included in that 38%. So you can see why Alfonso was so driven to have Delgaudio removed before having to face him on the ballot again.

Congrats Sterling, your reputation for electing a crazy bigot is salvaged.

Well done Loudoun!

I will be shocked if this guy survives the next election. He only won the last one because of there being several people on the ticket splitting the opposing vote.

Karma will get him!!! Just takes a little more time.

A waste of time and money. Sterling deserves better and their attorney should be on the hook for Delgaudios attorney fees. Try as they might to sully Eugene it does not work!

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