Just as republicans in the General Assembly grossly underestimated republican outrage after their vote for the largest tax increase in the history of the Commonwealth, so did the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors underestimate republican outrage over their vote on Wednesday night to censure one of their own, Eugene Delgaudio, and remove the funds to run his office. The outrage was felt tonight during the monthly meeting of Loudoun County Republicans. Approximately 90% of those in attendance wore stickers supporting Eugene Delgaudio. Senator Dick Black gave a speech (see below) in support of Supervisor Delgaudio which was interrupted many times with applause. Tenth District Chairman John Whitbeck was also supporting Eugene Delgaudio as was our Commissioner of the Revenue, Bob Wertz. The only other elected officials in the attendance were Supervisors Ken Reid and Geary Higgins.
After spending the weekend making calls trying to garner support for the board’s action against Delgaudio, Suzanne Volpe was not successful and did not attend the meeting. Shawn Williams was the surrogate for Scott York and the board members who voted against Delgaudio. He gave a rather insulting speech, telling us, again, to read the report issued by the Grand Jury. Why would he assume that we hadn’t read the report? Most of us read it as soon as it was released. Like the others on the board who are against Delgaudio, Williams implied that we were just too stupid to understand what they had done. Outrageous. We’ve all read the Grand Jury Report. It doesn’t matter because as Dick Black said, a Grand Jury can and will indict a Ham Sandwich because they only hear one side of the story. And yet even a Grand Jury couldn’t find reason to indict Delgaudio who has never had an opportunity to defend himself against nebulous accusations by unknown people. The Board of Supervisors gave him no opportunity to do that. There was never due process. Supervisor Ralph Buona even went so far to as to say that they don’t no need stinkin’ due process! The board will decide what is due process! Eugene Delgaudio was never allowed to confront his accusers. He was never permitted to defend himself. Why? Because the board doesn’t want to hear his side. The truth may well prevent them from their pre-determined course of action. Three things drove the Board’s vote against Eugene, Scott York’s vendetta against Eugene that goes back many, many years, the democrats in Loudoun who hate Eugene, and the Washington Post. Those are three, completely unacceptable reasons for their actions.
Supervisor Ralph Buona said he never wants to see this issue again in the press. By their actions, the board of supervisors has guaranteed that the issue will not die. It will be in the press for months, right through the election. It could have ended with the Grand Jury finding that Eugene had nothing illegal and there would be no indictment. Because Scott York can’t let his vendetta go, he convinced 5 other very naive, sycophant, board members to along with him, ensuring that ALL our republican candidates in November, and beyond, will be tainted by this issue. It’s only just begun.
A resolution was proposed tonight at the LCRC meeting that stated the following, but it was not voted on because the meeting was a few short members of a quorum. It will be presented next month and will pass easily. The overwhelming sentiment in the room supported Eugene Delgaudio. The resolution reads:
>>>Be It Resolved:
We the Loudoun County Republican Committee respectfully request the board of Supervisors to reconsider censuring Delgaudio and
We respectfully request the board to reconsider removing Delgaudio from all committees,
We respectfully request the board to reconsider removing the district staff of Supervisor Delgaudio.
Finally, we respectfully request the board to give Delgaudio specific charges and Supervisor Delgaudio and has lawyer Charles King be given an opportunity to present his defense. <<<
The full text of remarks by Senator Black:
Statement of Senator Dick Black re: Supervisor Delgaudio
Presented to the Loudoun County Republican Committee
July 22, 2013
Most of you know that I go to great lengths to be supportive of the Board of Supervisors and to stay out of their business, but tonight, I would like to comment on an issue, simply as a member of this committee.
After Supervisor Delgaudio was cleared by a grand jury, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to censure him anyway, and they took away the staff that serves all the citizens of Sterling Park.
I’m uneasy about taking action against anyone who’s been cleared after a six-month grand jury investigation. But I especially hope the Board will reconsider its actions that appear directed against the citizens of Sterling Park. I think it’s reasonable for Sterling voters to ask, “What have we done to deserve punishment by the Board of Supervisors?
Sterling Park elected Eugene four times. He’s got a reputation for giving some of the best constituent service in the county. In the wintertime, he’s been known to personally shovel snow to dig out seniors who were snowed in. He replaces faded American flags to spruce up his neighborhoods.
I understand there’s a squabble over some phone calls and an employee who was disgruntled over certain things. But to say that somebody would have broken the law if only the law had been different seems really odd to me. We’re only required to obey laws as they are written; not as some private citizen on a grand jury wishes they had been drafted. That’s why our constitution prohibits ex post facto laws. It says you can’t change the law after the fact in order to make somebody guilty of a crime. We just don’t do that in America.
Look, Eugene makes sure his working-class district isn’t forgotten. I get his emails and I can tell you he keeps his people up to date on everything that happens, from crime to weather to community events. He fights against taxes, because they endanger people on fixed incomes. He voted against density packing that hurts his district. He voted against Metro because he worried about the financial impact it might have on his residents—many of whom have little leeway in their budgets to handle major tax hikes. He also fought for traditional family values, because that’s what his voters want him to do. His positions don’t sit well with certain special interest groups, and those votes didn’t endear him to everyone on the Board. But he represented the people who elected him and he kept his campaign promises a lot better than most people did.
Let me close with a couple of thoughts: First, as a career prosecutor, I deeply believe in the presumption of innocence. That means you don’t punish people we exonerate. There’s an old saying that a grand jury “can indict a ham sandwich.” That’s because the defendant doesn’t have a voice in a grand jury—the jury only hears one side of the case. The special prosecutor in this matter was a Democrat who had the personal integrity to drop the case after an exhaustive grand jury investigation. I don’t know why we can’t do the same.
Second, I have no vote in this matter, but if I did, I would not vote for punitive action against someone who successfully weathered a six-month grand jury investigation. And I certainly would not vote to fire Eugene’s aide and deprive Sterling Park of their right to full and proper representation. The Board’s responsible for making this decision, not me. But I respectfully encourage the Board to carefully reexamine its decision regarding Supervisor Delgaudio before moving forward with these actions. I just feel it’s the right thing to do for Sterling citizens.<<<
It is the right thing to do!
UPDATE: An excellent post on this subject here.