Statement by LCDC Chair Evan Macbeth to the Board of Supervisors, on the need for a truly independent investigation of Supervisor Delgaudio, as well as a binding Code of Ethics for the Board itself.
Chairman York, Vice Chairman Clarke, Members of the Board:
I’m here to speak to you this morning about Loudoun’s past and future.
Between 2003 and 2007, a Republican-led Board of Supervisors damaged the reputation of Loudoun County when it became public in press reports that the FBI was investigating Republican Board Members and Planning Commissioners for alleged improper dealings with those that sought to influence government. That was an unfortunate and regrettable period in Loudoun County history.
That Republican Board was swept out of office by a Democratic majority that took office in 2008. With your help at the time, Chairman York, the Democrats adopted a Code of Ethics for Board members. Only one Board Member opposed the ethics pledge – Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio. During the ensuing four years the public did not question the ethics or integrity of our County government. There were no FBI investigations. There were no days in which it was embarrassing to wake up a Loudoun County resident.
Unfortunately I stand before you today as, once again, a Republican led Board of Supervisors has cast a negative light on Loudoun County. Recent press reports indicate that Supervisor Delgaudio – he who has never felt the need to sign an ethics pledge – has misused County resources, staff and dollars to advance his personal fundraising interests. It’s been reported that, yet again, the FBI is investigating the actions of a Board Member in Loudoun County.
Supervisor Delgaudio’s alleged misuse of County resources might have been avoided had this Board, perhaps learning the lesson from their Republican Party predecessors, adopted a Code of Ethics that had worked to keep our government focused on educating our kids, maintaining our quality of life and building our economy. This Board’s failure to agree to a simple Code of Ethics is a failure of leadership on your part, Chairman York, and a reflection that this Board might think it’s beyond reproach.
I call on this Board to immediately take necessary actions to appoint an independent, external authority, an Inspector General, to address this betrayal of the public trust. It’s in the public’s interest to have an investigation that’s independent of this Republican Board of Supervisors. This Inspector General should report back to the citizens of Loudoun County after:
● Examining the alleged misuse of County resources by Supervisor Delgaudio;
● Investigating each Board Member’s use of County resources to determine if other Board Members have misused County resources;
● Making public all internal communications between and among Loudoun County elected officials related to Supervisor Delgaudio’s alleged misuse of County resources;
● Investigating when members of this Board were made aware of Supervisor Delgaudio’s alleged misconduct and what they did with that information;
● Investigating what information was given to Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman and what information Plowman passed along to the Arlington County Commonwealth’s Attorney to determine the need for an investigation;
● Determining if any laws were broken.
Mr. Chairman, it is without joy that I stand before you today to suggest the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors open itself up to outside investigation. Indeed, I expect more from our government. But I can’t help but wonder if this all would have been avoided had you led, Mr. Chairman, and encouraged passage of the Code of Ethics that worked to ensure our local government operated ethically.
I respectfully suggest this Board act today, as you should have when you took office, and adopt the Code of Ethics.