Chairman York’s obstruction of justice

The 8-page complaint given to the county in March by the fired aide to Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling), which has finally become available to the citizens whom the government is supposed to serve, offers some revealing details as to why Chairman Scott York (R) was so interested in hushing the whole thing up: in fact he has been complicit for years in Delgaudio’s finagling misuse of public funds and resources, which turned his county-supplied office into a full-time political and personal fundraising machine.

Fired aide Donna Mateer, whose actual documentary evidence supporting her complaint against Delgaudio has at last been turned over to investigators (it only took six months, three phony “investigations,” and a newspaper exposé), stated that Delgaudio ordered her to spend most of her county-paid time soliciting large donors and fired her when she complained to county HR staff that this was a plain violation of county policy, if not the law.

Fascinatingly, in her statement, she notes that Delgaudio would become furious if she spent any time on constituent service (he actually ordered her to hang up if constituents called) — and states that York’s office was fully aware of this fact, and covered for it:

Robin, Chairman York’s Senior Aide told me she did all of Eugene’s constituent service because if it was sent to him or his office, nothing got done.

Although  York still refers to the evidence against Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) as “accusations in the media,” if it were not for “the media” York would still be sitting on it.

Let’s not forget, please, the sequence of events:

• Back in March, Mateer sent her complaint to York. The public and the rest of the Board except for Vice Chairman Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge) knew nothing about it.

• York turned the complaint over to Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman (Very R); the public still knew nothing about it, and York somehow forgot to give Plowman any of the supporting documents he had requested and obtained from Mateer. Plowman sent the complaint to be reviewed by the Arlington CA, who like everyone except York also saw none of the supporting evidence.

• For six months the public and the Board members other than the chairman and vice chairman still knew nothing.

• Then two days after the Washington Post broke the story in September — having corroborated Mateer’s complaints by seeing the actual documents and by speaking to two Republican businessmen Delgaudio hit up for money — York hurriedly brought the matter up with the Board, improbably insisting that the Post story had nothing to do with it. Plowman likewise immediately revealed the Arlington CA had “cleared” Delgaudio.

• The Board then hastily ordered another phony investigation under its own authority.

• Then finally last month when the documents at last got to a grown up (county attorney Jack Roberts) and the stuff hit the fan in a way that could no longer be denied or hushed up, Plowman asked the circuit court to appoint the Arlington CA as a real special prosecutor.

After that happened, Supervisor Shawn William (R-Broad Run) last week issued a statement stating the utter obvious: that with Delgaudio under investigation for violations of criminal statutes, he ought to be removed from his committee assignments. York’s response was to promptly cancel a planned Board business meeting he had hastily called this week to address the latest developments in the Delgaudio case; he explained that he did so on the “advice” of the county attorney.

Once again, York is using the lame excuse that he can say nothing or do nothing because the matter is “under investigation.” Perhaps he can at least explain to the people who pay his salary why he sat on the evidence for six months. That in itself is a potential criminal violation — of obstruction of justice and knowingly withholding evidence of a crime.

(By the way, not to pick on our friends at Too Conservative, but why does it merit such outpourings of praise for Williams that he did nothing more than enunciate the most blindingly obvious, lowest minimum standard of moral conduct for elected officials that would be utterly unremarkable in any other jurisdiction? I guess it doesn’t take very much these days to be “Best Loudoun County Supervisor,” which is one of those accolades on a par with “Best Lobster Roll in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.”)

Back in January the incoming Board scornfully rebuffed the idea that they needed to renew the ethics policy adopted by the previous Board, on the grounds that they were all so ethical they didn’t need any rules to guide them. York said that the previous policy was “all about show” and that because “I expect high ethics by all board members” there was no need for a policy.

Delgaudio (who refused to sign the policy during the 2007 board) explained in his usual inimitable manner that concern about ethics was just “a political ploy from pretentious liberals” and added, “Actions speak louder than words.”

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