Only in Virginia!
The special grand jury investigating the blatant misuse of office and public assets by our very own Loudoun Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) concluded its work today by issuing a report explaining why the special prosecutor declined to seek any criminal charges:
Although there was substantial evidence that Delgaudio had misused public assets for private gain, according to the grand jury — directing county-paid aides to spend most of their time raising money for Delgaudio’s campaigns and working for his outside hysterical-homophobic pseudo-lobby “Public Advocate” — misusing public assets is only a crime in Virginia if you’re a “full time officer, agent, or employee.” And under the law apparently county supervisors are deemed to be part time.
As the grand jury stated in its highly unusual report that it issued:
“While the jury cannot speak for [the special prosecutor], we believe that at least one significant reason that the jury was not asked to return an indictment is a result of limitations imposed by the Code of Virginia.
“This report summarizes evidence that suggests the misuse of public assets may have occurred within Supervisor Delgaudio’s office between Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 and explains why such misuse may not be criminal in this instance.”
In other words, if a county employee who mows the lawn for the Parks and Recreation Department did what Delgaudio did, he would be liable for prosecution under Virginia code 18.2-112.1, which states:
Any full-time officer, agent, or employee of the Commonwealth, or of any city, town, county, or any other political subdivision who, without lawful authorization, uses or permits the use of public assets for private or personal purposes unrelated to the duties and office of the accused or any other legitimate government interest when the value of such use exceeds $1,000 in any 12-month period, is guilty of a Class 4 felony.
A Class 4 felony is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $100,000.
But since Eugene is merely an elected official responsible for representing the people and managing a $1.8 billion budget for the entire county, he gets a get-out-of-jail free card.
More to come!