Thursday, July 25, 2013


A chastened Supervisor E. Delgaudio listening to the public demanding his censure (photo J. Flannery)

Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio lost his ever-present orange hat, his open smile, his false swagger and his law suit when he tried to prevent the Board of Supervisor from having a hearing last Wednesday on what Mr. Delgaudio did or did not do to abuse staff and misuse and mingle County resources with his gay-bashing hate group and his campaign fund-raising activities.

Mr. Delgaudio said he wanted to know before last Wednesday’s meeting what the Board’s specific charges were. 

The Board listed five charges, with the help of Board Member, Mr. Shawn M. Williams, drawing principally upon the 8-page statement filed by Ms. Donna Mateer, a former staffer (submitted last March)(that Mr. Delgaudio has had ever since), and the recent critical grand jury report (June 24, 2013)(that didn’t indict but did plainly identify various kinds of official misconduct by Mr. Delgaudio).

Mr. Delgaudio wanted an opportunity to respond.

Chairman Scott York called the Board into a Committee of the Whole in public so that Mr. Delgaudio could.

When given the opportunity, Mr Delgaudio lost his voice. 

Mr. Delgaudio carped, sniveled and complained that he needed more time. 

Mr. Delgaudio said his attorney had written a refutation of the grand jury report’s charges.  Ms. Volpe said, why wasn’t it submitted to the Board?  Mr. Delgaudio gave an unresponsive statement and that that it was on-line.  Mr. Matthew F. Letorneau went online during the hearing and found the statement that Mr. Delgaudio’s counsel issued and said it was no “refutation” as characterized by Mr. Delgaudio.  Mr. Letorneau nevertheless invited Mr. Delgaudio to read this statement into the record.  Mr. Delgaudio declined.

Chairman Scott York responded in the most direct fashion, saying, “Enough is enough.”

Before the formal hearing began, several members of the public urged the Board not to let Mr. Delgaudio bully them.

One of Mr. Delgaudio’s die-hard partisans, Greg Stone, suggested that the Board was missing “the clues,” how this was a “political vendetta,” and he directed the Board to get its “poop in a group” (sic), prompting an uncomfortable silence.

Patti Maslinoff, from Leesburg, told the Board she had come from a “medical procedure,” exhausted, because she wanted to tell the Board how important it is “to live in a County where the government maintains high standards of ethics and expects our public officials to devote themselves to the public good and not to their private interests.”

Matthew Gallelli, from the Blue Ridge District, sang a country song for his two minutes, based on a Bonnie Raitti original, “Yes baby, I’ve been fund raisin’, got some donations from unknown friends,” finishing his performance with the phrase, “It takes a whole lotta money, darling, to make believe that I’m somebody else.”

Mr. Delgaudio has surely been “making believe” he was “somebody else,” manipulating his public trust to serve his private interests.

Six members of the Board rightly concluded this was no partisan problem, and they reviewed in some detail Mr. Delgaudio’s failures as a public servant.  Mr. Ken Reid asked Mr. Delgaudio why he’d never showed any contrition. Mr. Delgaudio couldn’t find his voice.  Mr. Ralph Buona said he was tired of seeing newspapers with Mr. Delgaudio’s name and picture on the front page detailing his misconduct while Mr. Buona was working so hard to do right by the County.  Several members said about the same thing.

Two members, Gerry Higgins and Janet Clarke, made efforts to delay the proceedings, even to obstruct the discipline that the Board ultimately imposed on Mr. Delgaudio. 

In the end, the Board said in quite unambiguous terms that Mr. Delgaudio should be censured, lose his committee assignments, his staff aides, and budgetary control except for modest expenses.  And that’s what the Board did, with Mr Higgins and Ms. Clarke, the odd persons out on the final vote to take away Mr. Delgaudio’s budget control, notwithstanding the findings of the grand jury he had misapplied the County’s funds..

Chairman York said the Board afforded Mr. Delgaudio the time to respond, and he refused to speak, threatening the Board instead, and serving subpoenas on the Board members. 

Mr. York told Mr. Delgaudio he had crossed the ethical line, and had only himself to blame for the discipline he received.

What we can expect next is the citizens of Sterling to file their petition with the Loudoun County Circuit Court to remove Mr. Delgaudio from office.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Imagine that you’re Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and your First Lady, Maureen McDonnell, comes skipping into the State Mansion’s Main dining room to present you with a spanking new $6,500.00 Rolex watch.

“Hey Honey, pass the butter,” Bob may have said, “and, by the way, can we afford this Rolex?”

“Oh, this little thing,” Maureen may have said, “I admired the one that Jonnie Williams, Jr. wore.  Isn’t it so world leader-ish?  You really should have one.  Everyone will notice.”

“Yes, but how did we pay for it?” You’d imagine the Governor would ask that; any other spouse would, even with a public salary of $175,000.

“Why, silly, it’s Jonnie of course.  Jonnie paid for it.  We have no money for a Rolex.  Our finances are abysmal.  And Jonnie has already bought me some terrific clothes.  You should have something for yourself.”

Is a Rolex watch the modern equivalent of Eden’s tempting apple? Hardly, because Richmond is no Eden.  Richmond’s becoming that “other place” where arriving political innocents become twisted self-dealing politicians born anew – like our Governor.

Jonnie R. Williams Sr. who heads Star Scientific Inc, the manufacturer of dietary supplements, gave about $145,000 to the governing McDonnells in 2011 and 2012, according to news reports this past week.  Jonnie’s largesse includes that shiny Rolex for the Guv and $15,000 in designer clothes and accessories for the First Missus.

In exchange, Jonnie at least got to launch a new dietary supplement product at the Governor’s Mansion with the Governor and First Lady hosting, and to meet with the Virginia Secretary of Health with the First Lady there when Jonnie gave his pitch.

Some suggested we pillory the Commonwealth’s First Lady, not the Governor, for having Jonnie pick up the $15,000 tab for daughter Cailin’s wedding at the Mansion -- like the Governor was so self-absorbed in transvaginal ultra sound inserts for fertile women that he was oblivious to his own daughter’s wedding.  In fact and truth, “Daddy Dearest” kicked his marrying daughter, Cailin, to the curb, saying she accepted the gift, so he didn’t have to report it.

This inartful “not me” dodge doesn’t work for the Governor when Jonnie “loaned” $70,000 directly to the corporation Governor Bob owns with sister Maureen, Mobo Real Estate Partners; incidentally the first installment on that loan was the same day as Cailin’s wedding in 2011. 

Governor Bob says he doesn’t have to disclose “loans” to corporate interests, like his MoBo company.  No surprise that they have not repaid a dime of these “loans.”  Makes you wonder if Jonnie will forgive the “loan” after Governor Bob leaves office.

Some might think the Governor missed the fact that his Missus was receiving $50,000 pay for hyping Jonnie’s controversial dietary supplement.  Hard to believe the Governor could miss it when he attended Jonnie’s dog and pony show at his Mansion.

From all this, if it were the Kardashians, we might expect a Reality TV series about a self-dealing political family - “The Moochin’ McDonnells.” 

What we have for sure is a cul de sac where once the Governor seemed certain he’d made himself a path to the Oval Office. 

No doubt, we’ll have a Fall thunderstorm of hypocritical attacks by Republican and Democratic “leaders” who haven’t been caught – to make us think their integrity is beyond reproach. 

We might have a resignation if Governor Bob gives his hubris a rest.

Beyond his powers, we may witness a hand-cuffed perp walk by a Governor.

How did we get here?  It is true we have good people enter government.  Too few remain good.  Most are massaged and malformed by the business of politics.  Too few of character and courage escape the corrupting influences and most become selfish contemptible beasts – responding to the demands of the favor-givers, who send them streams of monies and false honors in and over the transom transacting and transforming executive and legislative policy to their liking. 

This is an old problem.  We will always have these self-dealing pols if we continue to allow third parties to give these spineless elected souls limitless gifts and loans.
As for our Governor McDonnell, imagine him glancing down at his Rolex, wondering if it was worth selling himself for a watch, and counting the hours, watching the hands of time, moved by gears and springs he cannot control, surely erasing him as the Governor, perhaps soon, by his own signature resigning, perhaps later by prosecution, or will it be the last gasping days of the Administration he so thoroughly corrupted when he limps out of office.  Whenever it is, it can’t be too soon.


Our outgoing State Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, who wants to be Governor, got a fine higher education himself but, it appears, he hasn’t learned the value of an education for others, certainly not for our children.

We learned early on following his election as AG that he did not respect academic freedom.

Mr. Cuccinelli went after one university researcher’s studies of climate change, Professor Michael E. Mann, because Mr. Cuccinelli couldn’t believe that humans since the industrial revolution could have an adverse effect on climate change. 

Having no evidence of any possible fraud, Mr. Cuccinelli simply subpoenaed a volume of Professor Mann’s private academic materials and correspondence, UVA resisted, and a state judge quashed Mr. Cuccinelli’s attack; so, the AG tried again and the Court said he was wrong again; the Washington Post wrote an editorial saying that Cuccinelli was “determined to embarrass Virginia.” 

The fact that a public official fails to agree with someone else, or a citizen has a different view than a partisan party plank, grants no public official license to disregard that citizen’s constitutional right to free speech, or his right to be let alone from a plainly arbitrary intrusion into his private research papers.

Mr. Cuccinelli’s excesses are offensive and ironic given his hubris, namely, comparing himself with a man who considered his greatest contribution to be the University of Virginia. 

Thomas Jefferson believed a nation that expects to be ignorant and free believes what never was and never will be. 

Mr. Cuccinelli presumes to divine, however, what’s true and treats what he finds disagreeable to be ignorant; this is an unfortunate repressive inclination in a public figure.

The most recent example of our gubernatorial candidate’s dullness to excellence involved the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax, a state-chartered regional magnet school. 

Some dimmer lights believe we can “imitate” this school in Loudoun County, so who needs it they say.

U.S. News and World Report ranked the TJ school the best public school in the nation from 2007 through 2013.  We are talking high AP scores, national merit semifinalists, participation in the U.S. Physics Olympiad Team, Intel Science Talent Search semifinalists, and more.  You are admitted as a student from six local jurisdictions including Loudoun County based on an admissions test, academic achievement, recommendations and an essay.  A quarter of the graduating class go on to attend U. VA.  Others attend William and Mary, VPI and colleges out of state.

State and County government funds underwrite the school.  Corporations from the defense and hi-tech industries also contribute to the school.

Surrounding jurisdictions have supported the school with funding so that the competitive open enrollment will continue to be open to students from other counties including Loudoun.

The school’s physical plant is getting long in the tooth since it was first established in 1964 and needs a capital investment to make the necessary capital improvements by 2016. 

Surrounding counties have been asked to contribute, done their legal due diligence and decided they may do so.

But here’s the buzz kill, outgoing Loudoun Delegate Joe May, himself a hi-tech wizard and patent holding inventor, asked the Attorney General whether the counties could contribute to the capital cost of maintaining TJ’s physical plant, specifically the Loudoun County School Board. 

In trial work, it’s always said a question is not evidence of anything, only the answer.  Few agree that’s true.  May asked the question in order to undermine the necessary capital funding, Loudoun County’s share of the cost at $7.75 million, and thus our children’s opportunity to attend that extraordinary school.  Mr. Cuccinelli gave Joe what he asked for, an opinion that jurisdictions other than Fairfax may not provide capital funding.

As other lawyers who have studied the issue find no such problem, even after Mr. Cuccinelli’s adverse opinion, and Mr. Cuccinelli is smart enough to get it right, a fair conclusion might be that Mr. Cuccinelli is playing to his base in a GOTV (Get-out-the-vote) low-turnout election, to those who oppose public schools generally, and, at the same time, satisfying an outgoing constituent delegate carrying water himself for County Board members who don’t want to contribute a dime more to the TJ school. 

We don’t need a governor who plays political football with our children’s opportunities to excel, nor one who lacks the imagination and foresight to support an innovative educational resource that will otherwise be replaced by even more H1B visas for bright science students and professionals from other nations, to make up for the scientists that our schools fail to produce.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Supervisor Delgaudio pretending to be a criminal (actual photo)

The Arlington County prosecutor, Theophani K. Stamos, looking into the gay-bashing Loudoun County Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio, never invited the grand jury to vote on whether Mr. Delgaudio committed any crime.

She identified one crime, then said Mr. Delgaudio couldn’t commit it, and took the voting decision away from the grand jury. 

Mr. Delgaudio’s counsel said afterwards that Delgaudio “cooperated fully.”  How is it then that the prosecutor never asked Mr. Delgaudio to testify before the Grand Jury “under oath?” 

Mr. Delgaudio has been a political trickster since 1987 at the helm of Public Advocate.  Mr. Delgaudio wore a black and white striped convict’s uniform that year on Capitol Hill, waved placards at passing Senators, insisted U.S. Supreme Court Nominee, Robert Bork, was too tough on crime for criminals to support him, expecting this opaque irony would somehow convince Senators to vote for his confirmation.  They didn’t.  58 Senators said “No.”

Delgaudio’s political theater since has only confirmed his rudeness and bigotry, particularly toward gays.

Not too long ago, Public Advocate allegedly hijacked a copyrighted marriage photo of a gay couple, photo-shopped it, and published it in a political campaign attack on an unrelated Colorado State Senator who supported civil unions.

In order to support his questionable political antics, Delgaudio raises money for Public Advocate, $1.1 million in 2011 (and he paid himself $133,000 that year).

It was little surprise therefore that the Grand Jury focused on Mr. Delgaudio’s fund-raising. 

Mr. Delgaudio hired Donna Mateer as an aide but, instead of having her work on County business, responding to constituents, County staffers, and other Supervisors, Mr. Delgaudio gave her a script to arrange meetings for Mr. Delgaudio to raise funds to retire his campaign debt. 

Mateer worked on County time at taxpayer’s expense.  According to the Grand Jury, “Supervisor Delgaudio was the one responsible for certifying time and attendance records for his BOS aides.”  Presumably, Mr. Delgaudio certified Ms. Mateer as working for the County when she was not.

Delgaudio told anyone who would listen that he was really raising funds for a local football league, and not his campaign. 

The Grand Jury reported, however, that they heard sworn testimony that Mr. Delgaudio was not raising funds for the football league.  This was a missed opportunity for the prosecutor to ask Mr. Delgaudio under oath why his public statements were at odds with what the Grand Jury had learned. 

The Grand Jury considered perjury charges for a pastor believed to serve as a conduit for cash contributors to give to Mr. Delgaudio.  An envelope memorialized a $5,000 contribution close in time to a Board vote by Delgaudio when he changed his position on the construction of a Loudoun County building.

The prosecutor was blind to any charge by the salaried Mr. Delgaudio misleading the County paymaster because, she said, he was not “full time.”  When the Board doubled its Member’s salary in 2008, the reason the Board offered was that one couldn’t serve as a Supervisor and hold a conventional job.  One Supervisor said you had to be retired or rich to serve. 

Chairman Scott York reportedly said there were days you could pay him $200,000 and it wouldn’t compensate what he did for the County.

An additional question is, does this mean, the prosecutor did not consider any other possible charges, not grand or petit larceny (18.2-95,96), nor embezzlement (18.2-111), nor fraudulent entries (18.2-113), not obtaining money under false pretenses (18.2-178), nor false statements to obtain property or credit (18.2-186)?

It feels like the prosecutor proposed “reforms” as a sop for denying the Grand Jury any opportunity to vote on the testimony it considered.  It’s also ironic -- the thought of reform -- when our Board opposes even an ethics policy. 

From the beginning of this grand jury investigation, it was clear it was going nowhere.   This same prosecutor would have had to reverse her first opinion, before there was a Grand Jury, when she cleared Mr. Delgaudio in record time.

Some asked months ago, why do we need to file a petition by the citizens of Sterling to remove Supervisor Delgaudio?

It’s because only the people can possibly rid themselves of politicians like Supervisor Delgaudio.