Loudoun County Circuit Court Judges Seek to Recuse Themselves In Case to Remove County Official

5 Feb

Virginia Code Section 24.2-233(1) of the Virginia Code provides that:

“Upon petition, a circuit court may remove from office any elected officer or officer who has been appointed to fill an elective office, residing within the jurisdiction of the court:

1. 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,

The citizens of Loudoun County have filed a petition that presents the signatures of more than 680 Sterling district voters – well more than the minimum amount needed – pressing for a recall of County Supervisor Delgaudio.

Loudoun County Circuit Court issued a “rule to show cause”  meaning Mr. Delgaudio must exhibit “why he shouldn’t be removed from office,” Mr. Flannery, representing the citizens said, and that the petitioners have provided enough evidence making it necessary for the supervisor to respond to the complaint.

The case number is CL00085754-00.

Circuit Court Judge Burke F. McCahill said he would request that the Supreme Court of Virginia recuse all sitting Loudoun Circuit Court judges and appoint a judge from outside Loudoun to preside over the case.

No further action regarding the case will be taken until the judge is appointed, McCahill said before a courtroom filled with county residents. Delgaudio (R-Sterling) sat quietly beside his attorney during the proceeding.

The petition effort was led by a grass-roots group called Sterling Deserves Better, which formed last year after Delgaudio became the subject of criminal probe resulting from an ex-aide’s claims that he used county resources to benefit his political campaign.

A grand jury did not indict Delgaudio. In a detailed report outlining numerous concerns with his conduct in office, the jurors indicated that an indictment was not possible in part because Virginia law governing the misuse of public assets does not apply to “part-time” government employees like the supervisor.

Among the issues included in the report were claims of misuse of public funds and staff, a hostile work environment, and an indistinct line between work done for Delgaudio’s public office and for his nonprofit group, Public Advocate of the United States, which campaigns against gay rights and has been designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2012.

Delgaudio was formally censured by the Board of Supervisors in July and stripped of his local committee assignments and control of his district budget. In January, his position on the county’s Transportation and Land Use Committee was restored.

The grand jury’s report has immediately become a matter of contention in the case. Delgaudio’s attorney, Charles King, has requested that the court exclude evidence and testimony that came before the grand jury, as “all grand jury proceedings are secret,” according to the filed memorandum.

Arlington residents should consider this provision to remove those public officials who have similarly behaved.

Read more: http://wttg.m0bl.net/r/1stduc