Monthly Archives: July 2013

Judge dismisses Delgaudio suit in two nanoseconds

To the surprise of legal scholars nowhere, Loudoun circuit judge Thomas D. Horne this morning denied the petition by Very Strange Loudoun Republican Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling), who was seeking a court order to prevent his fellow members of the all-Republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors from voting tonight on a possible punishment of Delgaudio for his multiple ethical violations.

It was not exactly one of those feats of legal reasoning that will awe generations to come at Harvard Law School: as noted yesterday, not only did Delgaudio fail to meet any of the requirements that apply whenever a court issues a temporary injunction in advance of trying a case on its merits, but Judge Horne was able to follow a rock-solid 1998 precedent involving an identically wacko, identically Republican, identically Loudoun member of the Board of Supervisors who tried to get a court to intervene in a nearly identical case involving the Board punishing him for ethical misconduct. In that case, the Federal court of appeals held that disciplining a member of a legislative body is a “core legislative act” over which courts have no power whatsoever to intrude.

The all-GOP Board has for more than a year been hoping to sweep the Delgaudio matter under the rug. In January when they removed Delgaudio from his committee assignments they did not even debate the matter, did not suggest in any official statements that the reason was Delgaudio’s ethical violations, or for that matter even announce that Delgaudio had been removed from his committee assignments: the Board just magically voted unanimously without discussion or explanation to approve Chairman Scott York (R)’s new list of assignments; you had to look at the list to realize that Delgaudio had vanished from it.

The very enjoyable irony in all of these latest developments is that the sole obstacle to sweeping Delgaudio under the rug has been Delgaudio himself. His frivolous lawsuit is surely just the beginning of what we can only hope will be an ongoing spectacle that will keep him and the Board’s larger ethical problems in the spotlight for months to come. Delgaudio’s 15-year-old lawyer, Charlie King, in court this morning hinted he was prepared to bring forth evidence that other GOP supervisors had also accepted illegal cash campaign contributions. Hell hath no fury like a wacko Loudoun Republican supervisor scorned!


Delgaudio theatrics continue!

Perennially ethically challenged Loudoun Republican Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) is never one to miss a chance to stage a bit of political theater, but this time he may even have outdone himself: facing a possible vote of censure at tomorrow night’s Board of Supervisors for unethical conduct that even his fellow GOP supervisors cannot completely ignore, Delgaudio last night filed suit in Loudoun Circuit Court seeking a temporary injunction to block the Board from taking up the little matter of his misuse of office, accepting $5,000 in illegal cash campaign contributions from a local pastor, abuse of his staff, and neglect of basic duties of office.

Of course you never know what a court will do, but as even Eugene’s 15-year-old lawyer must realize, the only thing less likely than any court on the planet granting such an injunction is Eugene being named pope. Continue reading

Don’t expect any meaningful action on Delgaudio from the Board this week

In normal governmental bodies, motions or proposals even on controversial and difficult issues are presented and filed in advance so that not only the members of the body but even (gasp) the citizens of a democracy can have a chance to offer their views before a vote is taken. This is called “transparency.” Under Virginia’s open-meeting laws, it is actually illegal for more than two supervisors to meet privately; the whole intention is that business be done in the full light of day, so that no secret understandings can be cooked up behind closed doors and sprung on the public without warning.

But as we know, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors under its current all-Republican control is not a normal governmental body. Its normal operating procedure is opacity, its MO consisting of providing as little public information as possible so as to avoid calling attention to anything unpleasant.

So while the Board has at last placed the Delgaudio matter on its agenda for this Wednesday’s meeting, after a mere year’s shilly-shallying, it has refused to offer a word about what actual measures it is considering taking, Continue reading

Buona’s ignorant blustering on library access

Once again grandstanding to the far-right zealots of the local Republican Party, Supervisor Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn) was at it again this week, indignantly demanding that the county libraries play the role of mommy and daddy for parents too distracted to pay attention to their own children, and restrict access of minors to R-rated DVDs or video games.

Buona superciliously told the head of the Library Board, “Your logic fails me” when he tried to point out that it is up to parents to monitor their own children’s viewing habits.

Then displaying his complete ignorance of the law and the facts (let alone logic), Buona incorrectly asserted that movie theater operators and video store owners could “be cited for allowing minors to have access to the same content,” Leesburg Today reported.

Actually, they can’t. The rating system is a purely voluntary one, with no force of law. But it is no coincidence that Buona is playing this card: it is part of a concerted campaign by conservatives around the country hoping to stir up a non-existent controversy. Continue reading

Scott York could use a friend these days

The rats keep leaving the sinking ship of the S.S. Scott York!

Republican State Delegate and prominent developer attorney Randy Minchew, who has been a huge proponent of the useless and wasteful (but very popular with developers) North South Corridor i.e. Outer Beltway, has nonetheless joined other Republicans rushing to disassociate themselves from Loudoun Board Chairman Scott York (R)’s recent over the top threats in support of the project.

York had issued a crude threat to the Leesburg Town Council, warning them that if they dared to go on record expressing their opposition to the Outer Beltway, he as a member of the newly established Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (a state body created to dole out road dollars in our region) would retaliate by cutting off funds for any of Leesburg’s needed road projects — suitable retaliation, he declared, if the council behaved in an “anti-road” fashion.

Minchew seemed to wobble for a few days after York’s godfather routine, but has now written to Leesburg’s town manager and town attorney assuring them that York’s threats of reprisal are illegal — as well as inimical to the “the free and respectful expression of opinion” localities have a right to engage in as part of the process.

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