The long anticipated legal action to have perennially ethically challenged Loudoun Republican supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) removed from office is going forward at last: yesterday papers were filed in Loudoun Circuit Court to begin the process.
Under Virginia’s somewhat unusual recall law, an elected official can only be removed for “for neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties when that neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties has a material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office,” and it is up to the court to make that determination. But the law requires quick action: Delgaudio will now have a maximum of 10 days to file a reply “to show cause why he should not be removed from office,” and the court must set an early date for the trial, taking precedence over every other case on the docket.
Just as a reminder, the grand jury that investigated Delgaudio last year — and even the rest of the all-Republican Board of Supervisors itself (after stalling for a year) — found a heap o’evidence of Delgaudio’s blatant misuse of office and misappropriation of public funds. He turned his county-provided office and staff into an extension of his political fundraising operation and outside anti-gay hate group “Public Advocate,” ordering his staff to work full time making phone calls and setting up meetings to solicit donors. According to the testimony of staffers and other supervisors, he so neglected his duty of responding to citizens who tried to contact his office that he actually ordered his staff not to take calls from constituents and other supervisors had to perform constituent service work for him.
A press conference scheduled for this morning will offer further details of the evidence against Eugene.
In any normal political universe, Delgaudio would have resigned long ago, and for that matter would never have been re-nominated repeatedly by the local GOP cabal given his kooky views. But our local GOP cabal is so far to the right that the Loudoun County Republican Committee last summer overwhelmingly passed a resolution denouncing the all-Republican Board of Supervisors for censuring Eugene and demanding that the action be reversed. So once again, the local GOP make itself a laughingstock and a public spectacle by doubling down on an unethical, corrupt, loser. Apparently the recent unpleasantness concerning our outgoing governor didn’t make much of impression, did it?