Eugene Delgaudio recall, Loudoun County, Virginia (2014)

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An effort to recall Eugene Delgaudio from his position of supervisor on the County Board in Loudoun County, Virginia, was officially launched after a petition was filed on January 27, 2014, by John Flannery. It did not go to a vote.[1]

The group seeking to recall Delgaudio was called "Sterling Deserves Better." Delgaudio was accused of misusing public assets, including county resources, to raise funds for his nonprofit organization, which was labeled as an "anti-gay hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.[2]

Delgaudio was elected for a fourth term in 2011.[2]

Background

In 2013, Delgaudio was investigated by a grand jury after allegations that he was misappropriating funds surfaced. As of 2014, Delgaudio runs a nonprofit group called "Public Advocate of the United States," and he was accused of funneling public money into his private organization, one that has spoken out against the LGBT community in the past. The grand jury ultimately did not issue an indictment, but it did release its findings, which revealed the investigation uncovered evidence of "likely, though not blatant, misuse of public funds." He was also accused of using his staff to further the interests of his organization.[2]

Delgaudio's response

Delgaudio insisted he did nothing wrong and believed he was being targeted due to his views on homosexuality. He emphasized that voters elected him four times, saying, "If you don’t like a supervisor’s issues … vote against him."[3]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing recall in Virginia

Unlike other states that hold recall elections, when citizens have petitioned for a recall in Virginia, it is then sent to the state Circuit Courts for trial. Supporters of the recall collected over 680 valid signatures, more than enough to trigger a recall trial of Delgaudio. On February 4, 2014, all Loudoun judges recused themselves from the case without stating their reasons. The Virginia Supreme Court had to appoint a judge to hear the case and subsequently chose Judge Paul Sheridan, a retired Arlington County Circuit Court judge, to do so.[3][4] On June 24, 2014, Sheridan dismissed the case. The judge agreed with a motion filed by Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Theo Stamos that the case should be dismissed because it lacked "clear and convincing evidence."[1]

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