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Supervisors look to clear up ‘part-time’ lawmaker language

As promised, members of the Loudoun Board of Supervisors will request the Virginia General Assembly take action to remove verbiage in the state's misuse of public assets law that classifies supervisors and other elected officials as “part-time” legislators.

The board voted unanimously Sept. 18 to request that state lawmakers strip the word “part-time” from the statute that criminalizes “any elected official who uses or permits the use of public assets for private or personal purposes unrelated to the duties and office of the accused ...”

That language is viewed by many as the primary reason Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) was not charged on allegations that he misused Loudoun County resources for personal and political gain. Delgaudio was investigated for several months by a special grand jury, which issued a report stating: “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 … Consequently, additional avenues of potential investigation were ultimately dropped when it was determined that criminal charges would not be filed based on the use of the term 'full-time' in the Code of Virginia. In the Recommendations section, the jury strongly urges a change to this statute.”

The board's vote Sept. 18 formally incorporates the recommendation in its annual legislative package for the General Assembly.

But there's some skepticism between supervisors as to whether state lawmakers will act on the matter.

“Let's just say the members of the Virginia General Assembly like the fact they are part-time legislators and like that they have part-time legislative aides,” said Supervisor Suzanne Volpe (R-Algonkian).

Chairman Scott York (R-At Large), added: “If [state lawmakers] don't want to do it for themselves they can always write the language that applies it to local government only – which is telling in itself.”

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