As we all know from faithfully reading the passionate defenses of Supervisor Eugene “The Best” Delgaudio (R-Sterling) offered by his faithful followers in the Loudoun County Republican Committee, Eugene did absolutely nothing whatsoever wrong when he (a) ordered his county-paid staff to spend most of their time soliciting political campaign contributions; (b) had his county-paid staff report to his outside wacko right wing homophobic million-dollar-a-year “educational” foundation; and (c) repeatedly lied about it to the public and his fellow supervisors, falsely claiming that he was only soliciting funds for a youth football league.
But just to make sure that no other elected officials ever gets away with doing these absolutely-nothing-wrong things, the Virginia House of Delegates voted 99–0 on February 11 to close what is now fondly known throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia as the “Delgaudio Loophole”: this was the provision in existing law that makes misuse of public assets a crime only if the misuser is a “full-time” official, which, as the special grand jury that investigated Eugene’s absolutely-nothing-wrong actions noted in its report last year, was the sole reason an indictment was not brought against Eugene for the things he did, since county supervisors are apparently considered only “part time” officials. One of the grand jury’s recommendations was to plug this glaring loophole.
The bill now goes to the Senate, where passage seems likely. Governor McAuliffe has already taken significant steps to tighten ethics rules in our notoriously ethically lax commonwealth as well, issuing orders forbidding his staff to take the kind of loot his now-indicted Republican predecessor did from people who want something from government in return.
Just think: if that were actually the law that applied to all officials, then our entire all-Republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors would be in deep doo-doo, given the tens of thousands in campaign favors and free trips and other goodies that Chairman Scott York and his fellow supes routinely solicit and obtain from businesses that want and get special favors.
We can dream, can’t we?
Meanwhile, Eugene is due back in court on March 4, a special judge now having been appointed to hear the case for his removal for misuse of office. Presumably seeking to bolster his insanity defense, Eugene has been posting off-kilter comments on newspaper websites in response to articles about his little problems: Eugene’s comments consist entirely of his “news[sic]letters” announcing upcoming performances of middle school plays and when he will be picking up litter in the community.