Four days before the next court hearing on the petition to remove Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio from office, an attorney representing hundreds of Delgaudio's Sterling constituents filed a string of motions adding to the complexity of the case.
John Flannery, the local attorney for the Citizens of Sterling group, which is seeking to have Delgaudio removed for abuse of public office, filed a motion Friday asking to have the appointed prosecutor dismissed from the case. Additionally, Flannery wants the recent depositions of both Delgaudio and one of his primary accusers, former legislative aide Donna Mateer, made public.
The prosecutor in question is Arlington Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos, a Democratic elected official who led the 2013 special grand jury investigating allegations Delgaudio (R-Sterling) used public employees and Loudoun tax dollars for political fundraising. The Stamos-led examination did not bring forward an indictment against Delgaudio, but a final grand jury report did highlight
a number of questionable practices in his office.
In January, the Sterling citizens group filed a recall petition in Loudoun County Circuit Court to displace Delgaudio from the Board of Supervisors. Delgaudio's foes -- more than 600 of his constituents signed the petition -- say the Sterling supervisor's inflammatory rhetoric and fervent anti-gay views have caused dysfunction within Loudoun County government.
Flannery's motion Friday also includes another request that he intervene as plaintiff in the case. Earlier this year, Flannery was denied a similar request.
“Ms. Stamos has failed over several months now to conduct the most rudimentary and obvious discovery to substantiate the petitioners’ charge,” states Flannery's motion. “[Stamos has] even attacked the petition’s principal fact witness, Ms. Donna Mateer, and otherwise made the curious admission that she has never conducted a deposition in her 28 years of practice at the bar, that is, except for her scornful cross-examination of Ms. Mateer; accordingly, the Sterling Citizens respectfully request that this Court grant the following relief ...”
The motion continues:
“First, the removal of Ms. Stamos who has breached her charge to enforce the statute, preferring instead to defend Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, because her 'investigation' and 'discovery' to date focuses entirely on disputing the petition and impeaching its charges and the witnesses and petitioners who have brought these charges;
“Second, there are key witnesses and documents that Ms. Stamos has made no effort to obtain ...
“Third, one of the reasons that the Sterling Citizens can’t say (definitively) what’s in the public record (regarding what subpoenas Ms. Stamos has issued (or not) – and if there are any others) is because the filings in these court proceedings are not available to the public in the Circuit Court Clerk’s Office any longer ...”
Lastly, “appoint a special counsel, to substitute for Ms. Stamos, who does not suffer Ms. Stamos’ bias against the statute’s intent and does not share her reluctance to conduct the discovery necessary to prosecute the cause with some vigor.”
Responding to Flannery's claims, Stamos on Monday said she didn't "really want to give any credit to Flannery's bloviating." The Arlington commonwealth's attorney said she would be addressing Friday's motions in court on Tuesday.
In March, Stamos noted her objective in the case is to “further the best interest of the commonwealth,” not necessarily the “best interest of the petitioners.”
Because of this, Flannery said, the petitioners essentially have no legal representation in the courtroom.
Delgaudio, his attorney Charlie King, Flannery and Stamos return to court Tuesday morning for a pre-trial hearing on the matter. People familiar with the case said they expect Stamos to move to dismiss the petition.
Stamos was tapped to represent the commonwealth in the case by retired Arlington judge Paul Sheridan, who is overseeing the proceedings. Loudoun Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman was granted a recusal from the case because both he and Delgaudio are elected officials of the same political party.
-Special Grand Jury Report
Past stories on Delgaudio:
-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