You have to hand it to Loudoun Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York (R-
Kincora Hounds), as he continues to come up with interesting ways to keep the lid on the blatant misuse of office by fellow GOP supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling).
When the Washington Post broke the story several weeks ago that several of Delgaudio’s taxpayer-provided aides had come forward with documentary proof that their orange-capped homophobic (but very “Christian”) boss had been having them spend most of their office time at the county office building soliciting and arranging meetings for him with large potential campaign donors, and that his taxpayer-provided county aides were being directly supervised by Delgaudio’s outside political-money-making pseudo-lobby, York’s first response was to claim that there was nothing he could do about the matter because:
(a) staff aides are not covered by the county’s employee grievance policy; and
(b) he could not “fire” Delgaudio since he had been duly elected by the good people of the Sterling District.
He also suggested that the accusations were politically motivated.
One of the aides who blew the whistle went to the Post after six months had gone by while York sat on her complaint, keeping it under wraps (and in the end not answering her inquiries as to what was happening). As the Post reported: “[Former Delgaudio aide Donna] Mateer, who filed a statement with the county Human Resources Department in March, said she provided numerous documents – including fundraising spreadsheets and e-mail records – to York after she was fired from her position in Delgaudio’s office.” (She was fired by Delgaudio two hours after filing her complaint with the HR office. That is what normal persons call “retaliation” but which York says is not prohibited by any county policy.)
Then after the story broke in September, York and the Board suddenly acknowledged that there had indeed been such a complaint, and voted to begin (six months late) its own “investigation.” But York indignantly insisted he had not covered it up and that the Board was not just discussing it now at last because it had just become public no thanks to him; rather he had taken it very, very seriously and had “referred” it to Loudoun’s extraordinarily political Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman (R), a legendary crime-fighter famous among other things for once bringing a frivolous charge against a Republican primary candidate whose opponent he supported, then dropping the charges after the primary.
Plowman then revealed (again the timing had nothing to do with the fact that the facts had just come to light for the first time via the Post story) that he had “referred” the “referral” from York to the Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney, and that the Arlington CA had told him that there was no criminal violation to be prosecuted; case closed.
Of course, as a few sentient beings pointed out, it just might be useful for the public to know what the specifics of the aides’ complaints were, what questions Plowman actually asked his fellow prosecutor, and what the evidence actually consists of.
Although York continues to insist that staff aides are not employees, he last week instantly ordered the county to reject any Freedom of Information Act requests for information on the complaint or the contents of his “referral” to our crime-fighting CA on the grounds that FOIA exempts . . . personnel records of employees.
Meanwhile, however, the Washington Post, once again offering a lesson in Journalism 101 that our intrepid local “news”papers might just heed, picked up the damn phone and asked the Arlington CA what Plowman had asked her, exactly.
Here’s what the Post found:
In an interview [Arlington County commonwealth’s attorney Theo] Stamos (D) said she was sent a copy of Mateer’s statement but did not receive any of the records or documents to which the statement referred.
“The question was, based on that letter, whether there was a basis upon which a prosecution might go forward,” Stamos said. “My assessment, from the statement alone, was that it would be extremely difficult to mount any type of a successful prosecution, as it was based on the observations of a now-terminated employee.”
In other words, Stamos told Plowman that yes, indeedy, it might be hard to gain a conviction if you don’t produce any documents (such as the ones Mateer gave York and that the Post also cited its story) or corroborating witnesses (such as other Delgaudio aides, such as the ones the Post spoke to who confirmed everything that Mateer asserted about their bosses’ finagling).
Yessirree, that’s what I call a real investigation.
York is now saying that “if” the Board’s own presumably equally thorough “investigation” shows that Delgaudio is guilty, he’ll be the first to come down very, very hard on Delgaudio, and presumably will no longer let him ride on any more York-paid, Loudoun-sheriff-escorted bus rides to GOP political rallies with him.