York’s Delgaudio Situation Town Hall Meeting

By Loudoun Insider

I was there last night and there was nothing earth shattering.  I was most surprised by the lack of Delgaudio supporters, I figured they would be out to support their hero.  Not much time to report right now, all the local reporters were there and should be posting stories soon.  Please take the lead yourselves here, faithful TC readers, and add your observations and put the story links in comments as they appear.


Comments

  • David says:

    I would suggest that the reason not a single ED supporter attended is that they were ordered to stand down, probably on the advice of his attorney. Although the focus of the meeting was very much on York’s lack of leadership and concealing of evidence, and not on ED, we eagerly await Eugene’s histrionic missive all about how he was “attacked” by the mean “libruls.”

  • Independent voter says:

    How about the rats leaving the sinking ship? Same thing happening to Romney. So much for loyalty among to R’s.

    We don’t have to worry about the Teflon man, aka ED. He will last to fight another day, or year. The orange hat will be around for a long time.

  • HOAhell says:

    Classic PR defense.
    1. Schedule at the worst possible time, on the night before a major holiday if possible, for common citizens to attend and reporters to follow up.
    2. Provide less than 48 hours notice.
    3. Feign humility with self effacing and disingenuous comments.
    4. Spin obfuscatory responses of unlimited duration commensurate with potential political damage of stand-alone facts.
    5. No cable coverage so as to confine comments to those present.
    6. Hunker down.
    7. Wait it out.
    8. Stage triumphant re-election campaign. The public memory is brief.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    I think hoah’s #1 hits it on the head David, rather than a dogwhistle of secret orders.

    And of course, had there been no meeting in response to the demand of those who were available at that time, it would have been a different set of secret reasons.

    I think it may just be Thanksgiving, and the Arl CA isn’t done yet. But who knows!

  • David says:

    That would make sense if nobody had shown up, but I would guess about 60 people did.

    It’s not hard to understand why an attorney might not want a bunch of people showing up to support his client with no control over what they might say.

    The board should have just had the regularly scheduled meeting, IMO. On the other hand, that would have foreclosed on # 4.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    No David, it isn’t that NO ONE would have come–the people who were there would be there no matter what day it was, right? Liz live-blogged it on fb, and I recognized most of the names.

    No matter what they do, or coulda/shoulda/woulda, there’s going to be plenty of PR cranking, because that’s what pacs are for, and how they raise money, and so on. Meanwhile, still no hard news until the investigation is complete.

  • Liz says:

    You recognized the names of the people I talked about on fb, I didn’t talk about everybody, mostly because I didn’t know who they were.

  • David says:

    As far as I know, the public was invited and York made an effort to notify it through the usual channels. LI found it odd that none of Eugene’s defenders chose to attend. Are you not a part of the public? Seems straightforward enough.

  • Lady M says:

    After reading the Wash Post and L2Day article, do I see humility coming from Scott York? He seems to finally understand the gravity of his role in this.

    At least he faced his critics. Will Delguadio ever face that kind of questioning from the public?

  • HOAHell says:

    See #3.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    David, is that a trick question?

    yes, I’m part of the public.

    Yes, I saw the various news stories in the papers about meetings, moved meetings, no meetings, different meetings, and the attendant press releases, bloggings etc.

    No, I did not spend the week before Thanksgiving writing things on the calendar, scratching them out, and rearranging to suit the writings and scratchouts as each day brought a new bit of “news”.

    I realize that in the world you have created, anyone who does not agree with you 100% and pick up a pre-printed sign to march where told is a particular label, and their behavior is somehow directed by another construct created by you, but sometimes, as with a cigar, a holiday week is just a holiday week.

    I hope you and Jonathan have a happy holiday today. Take a one-day break from chastising the world–it will still be exactly where you said “Sit! Stay!” when you get back.

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, in fact! Socks and all!

  • BlackOut says:

    Many interesting this happened at the town hall meeting, and certainly the most striking was the lack of Delgaudio supporters or support. Not one word of support, other than the Elephant in the room, which is inaction by the Board to be more forthright in what is going on. Everyone to include York seemed disgusted with Delgaudio and this unfortunate situation.

    Barbara, I also perked up when York mentioned the FBI investigation that happened in this county back in 2007. I think that is the first time there was a public acknowledgement by a public official about the investigation.

    I was surprised by the amount of angst in the room about the baseball stadium. Boy that’s a thicket that seems to have just begun to grow.

    I thought Phyllis Randall made a good point about the awkwardness of how the meeting was originally called then uncalled then recalled. It will be interesting to see if York holds another similar meeting. As much as he seemed to be enjoying himself, I would be surprised if he made these little chats a regular occurrence.

    I give credit to York for stepping in front of a large group of people that obviously were not happy with what is going on with the Delgaudio issue and the Board’s lack of transparency. He could have just skipped it. He was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t. But it is obvious this situation is way out of control.

    I sat in on the Finance, Operations, Gov. Committee which preceded the town hall. It is appalling that Delgaudio is up there negotiating and voting on what is to be a new policy for supervisor aides. An exercise completely caused by the ethical violations brought against Delgaudio. Doesn’t anyone up there see this as a huge issue? He should not be participating in committee assignments while under investigation.

  • HOAHell says:

    I am very, very, thankful, for the freedom to debate stuff like this with people like Barbara, David, Shiloh and everyone else who has a point of view and adheres to it stubbornly, without getting blown up other than figuratively. Thank you, Loudoun Insider, cause it is 24/7/365.

    “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me…”

  • David says:

    Lady M – who knows whether the humility is genuine or not – good for him if it is, but that question misses the larger point of his failure to provide leadership here from the beginning. Assume that he does honestly have, in his words, a “simple mind” that didn’t realize he was supposed to forward evidence to the prosecutor. So what? By that time he had already chosen the path of secrecy.

    One of the speakers identified that larger point very well. Why, when York first became aware of Ms. Mateer’s complaint and the fact that the aide policy offered no whistleblower protection, that there was no policy prohibiting personal fundraising using county resources, etc., did he not lead the board publicly and transparently to address those problems? Why did that only happen after the Washington Post article appeared? There is no avoiding the conclusion that, if for some reason that article had never been published, no one else would have ever heard of Donna Mateer, and the aide policy would never have been brought up.

    The disappointment a lot of people are feeling has to do with expecting better from our leaders, above and beyond the very narrow framework of whether someone has technically violated existing policy. It’s telling that Eugene’s defenders cling so to that framework, isn’t it? Because the plan now (and they were laying the groundwork for this at last month’s Finance/Gov Services Committee meeting) is to correct the problems with the aide policy (over Eugene’s loud objections) and take credit for those changes, but then helplessly throw their hands in the air with regard to any consequences for his behavior because what he did wasn’t in violation of policy at the time that he did it.

    People see through that, thankfully. A real leader would recognize that those behaviors are wrong, with or without a broken policy that permits them, and would not wait for an embarrassing newspaper article to force him to act. Rather than hiding the information and hoping it never came to light, a real leader would be the one to make sure it came to light. He would make it known that this kind of behavior is not acceptable on his board, and that he will lead in whatever policy changes are required to put a stop to it, whether that makes Eugene mad or not.

    That did not happen, obviously. What we saw was, and I’m sorry to say, cowardice – long before York’s supposed “simple mind” became an issue. We know that Scott can’t stand Eugene, and that he is beholden to Eugene in some way. I’m not without sympathy for that, but at the same time regret for cowardice has limited value.

    I do think they are aware of the gravity of the situation. It remains to be seen what choices they will each make.

  • Barbara Munsey says:

    BlackOut, I agree that the situation is out of control to some degree–because he is damned no matter what he does. That’s the point. I should have bet bend that the director/atty of record was going to file to run for chair, not for Sterling!

    How much has the pac made on the situation so far?

    How much has Eugene?

    FBI 07–yep, that one’s still ongoing. Maybe if they weren’t tweeting shirtless photos in Florida I’d be in jail where I belong right now! St-i-i-i-i-lllll waiting, for that, and whatever the Arl CA has to say after she gets done with her job on it.

    And then we get to hear what THAT all really means, no matter what the results turn out to be.

  • Kelli Grim says:

    Can anyone clarify the chain of events from March when the complaint came to York, what other Supervisors knew about this? Did all or did some, or one Supervisor receive word, or docs? Who did York tell? Was it discussed in a closed session? I want all the Supervisors to provide records of whatg they knew and when?
    Was this handled by only York and Clarke/ and why wasn’t the all important Vice Chair grilled alongside of York?

  • HOAhell says:

    No one who is completing their 17th consecutive year on the board, with 13 of those as chair, has a “simple mind”
    about handling evidence as damning as what Ms. Mateer has courageously brought forward.
    That is what gives rise to the chortles, eye rolls, and guffaws when the chairman speaks.
    Delgaudio was only one of the issues with which the chairman was confronted on Nov. 20, and the only one driven by political motivation. York fouled his own comfy nest by handing Democrats so much material to use against him.
    But this goes well beyond off-year political sleuthing into the kind of self-inflicted political damage that typically evolves from the supreme arrogance of incumbency.
    The most significant and potentially career-ending dynamic unleashed against Chairman York at his pretextual and sudden “town meeting” was the moral outrage of the NoStadiumOn7 people.
    And its most disturbing cohort is the one that is so inured to governmental malfeasance that they redirect their gaze not to see, as though driving past a three-days’ dead deer on the Greenway.

    The average citizen is growing aware that local government in Loudoun is funded by them but does not protect their interests and in fact, works against them while regarding them as chumps.
    If these people ever join together to create an institutional memory for citizens, York and the hidden brokers who manipulate power will be unemployed and some will be unemployable due to negative information from their background checks.
    York’s mind is not simple at all. It is devious.
    The town meeting was a Hail Mary pass to distract those who are tired of throwing the stick for Fetch.
    They expect, at minimum, honesty from a local government that serves taxpayers rather than bilking them to shore up revenues depleted by the forgiven tax revenues of corporate hogs at the trough of America’s wealthiest county.
    As they say in real estate: Pigs get fat. When the farmer wakes up, hogs get slaughtered.

  • David says:

    Kelli, we are trying. If anything, the chain of events is less clear after the Town Hall than it was before. According to what York told the Leesburg Today a couple of weeks ago, he had originally shared the records and documents he obtained from Ms. Mateer (not her eight page statement) with two other people “in Loudoun County government,” but he declined to name those two people when asked. At the Town Hall, he explicitly denied that one of those people was Eugene Delgaudio. He also says now that he shared the documents with Ms. Clarke, but when asked who the other one is, said “I do not recall.”

    There are other discrepancies as well – more new questions than answers, frankly. We would very much like to know who knew what, and when they knew it. Jim Plowman was there, and my guess is he wasn’t pleased with York’s line about expecting someone who makes over 100K to pick up the phone and track down their own evidence. I also can’t help noticing how clueless that remark shows York to be about how much it cost an unemployed single mom to make those copies, as if she could afford to just run off a set for the CA, too. Clueless. All I can say is it must be nice to not have to consider those mundane things.

  • vacliff says:

    From my view, York’s actions are clear:
    York has plans for higher office (he is one of many that will probably try for Wolf’s seat when he retires).
    York know he had to get back in the Republican Party to succeed.
    Delgaudio assisted York in accomplishing this.
    York attempted to pay Delgaudio back by burying this issue, encouraging others to ignore it, and hoping it would go away.
    That didn’t happen, so York is now hopelessly screwed. He can’t defend his actions because they are indefensible.
    Even if he “survives” this investigation, he will be vilified as corrupt by the other Republican candidates who will throw their hat in the ring for Wolf’s seat.
    I could be completely wrong here, but I don’t think so.

  • HOAhell says:

    York does not even belong in the same sentence with Wolf.

  • Loudoun Insider says:

    Cliff, you rock. How long before the cretins remove him from the vaunted Government Reform Commission???

  • Eric the half a troll says:

    Kelli, Vice Chair Clarke? Are you kidding me? You expect her to answer to her constituents? Not Janet. She only answers to her funders. But you know what is becoming obvious to all? She just can’t be trusted. She is simply dishonest.

  • Local says:

    Eric,

    I’ve known Ms. Clarke for many years as a neighbor, friend, parent, coworker, and fellow volunteer in a variety of community service projects. I’ve always found her to be very honest.

    From what I read in the variety of local blogs you post, you are quick to question the integrity of others. My experience has been that most people in life and in public office, even those who disagree with my opinions or have different political leanings, are ethical souls trying their best to serve their community.

    I would like very much for you to run for public office. I think it would be a good and educational experience for you.

  • Eric the half a troll says:

    I heard what you said during the campaign, Local. Yet, My personal experience with her was completely opposite. She was personally dishonest with me from day one. I reported this and you poo-pooed me then. Well, now she has been found to be involved with withholding evidence from this investigation and you once again tell me she is just misunderstood. Bull! Is what I say.

  • Glen Bayless says:

    The one good thing about a 9-0 republican boxed is now watching them tear each other limb from limb. I hope reasonable folks in both parties work to elect candidates that will serve the interests of the entire county rather than be beholden to a party or special interests. Additionally, I hope county residents realize the importance of participating in local politics and begin to show up in our “off” year elections. We can and should be doing better.

  • HOAhell says:

    At the time Ms. Mateer handed over her complaint, Janet Clarke had been on the board for less than three months and Scott York was three months into Year 17.

    Did anyone notice the tone of voice York used at the town hall when directing his own aide where to go with the mic? Any woman who heard it recognized it as devoid of respect i.e. not the way he would speak to an equal.

    So in a room with York and Clarke present and no one else, assuming he showed her just the complaint like he did Stamos, who was the Alpha?

    You really think Clarke told York how to handle Mateer? You are projecting your prior dislike for Clarke onto a situation without the benefit of facts. Only the two people present really know what happened. Maybe Clarke needs to stop protecting York and Delgaudio and let them stand on their own merit.

  • Eric the half a troll says:

    So your defense of Clarke is as follows:

    She was only on the board for 3 months so couldn’t have known it was wrong and dishonest to withhold evidence in an investigation.

    And

    She was not strong enough to stand up to Scott York so she compromised her own values which really are right and true, if only for the influence of alpha male Scott.

    Really? You don’t think it was more like “I agree, Scott, we can’t afford a scandal like this so soon into our term. Let’s do what we can to sweep it under the rug.”

    Now which sounds more plausible to you?

  • Eric the half a troll says:

    “Maybe Clarke needs to stop protecting York and Delgaudio and let them stand on their own merit.”

    Here’s an idea. Maybe all three of them stink and need to go down. Oh, and throw in anyone else who knew about the incident and participated in withholding evidence.

  • John Marsh says:

    One of the puzzles in judging folks behavior: when does it stem from incompetence (or dull wits), and when from or dishonesty. My sense is that York and Ms Clark suffer from a bit of both. Competence and integrity look to be in short supply.

  • E Tu says:

    So now Charlie King throws Scott York under the bus. But where is Delgaudio and his responsibility. I can see how they are going to play this now. Delgaudio will just fingerpoint at every target and end up looking like an innocent lamb. And his followers will go right along with it.

    The Republican Party is devouring itself. Not pretty.

    http://leesburg.patch.com/articles/lte-delgaudio-attorney-requests-due-process

  • Local says:

    Eric,

    My earlier comment was more about you than anyone else. I’ve observed that you are often willing to question the integrity of anyone who has a different opinion or perspective than yours. Besides being extremely insulting, it leaves your credibility open for question. I don’t believe it when you say someone has been dishonest simply because you’ve done so many times in the past. My experience has shown me that there are not that many people out there willing to lie and cheat for personal gain. Almost all of the public officials I’ve met are trying their best to do what’s right for the community even those with whom I disagree.

    When you make inaccurate statements, I don’t question your honesty. You believe what you believe; you’re just wrong sometimes. Are you trying your honest best to educate the public about your point of view? Yes, but I’d rather we build on our ideas, not tear down the people who express a different opinion.

  • Eric the half a troll says:

    Local, I do not believe I have ever specifically said a person was dishonest to me the way Janet was. In some cases, I may question the underlying motivations of a local official but straight up honesty is a different thing. So I reported what happened to me and drew the conclusion I could draw based on my experience. Now we have another example coming to light. This time everybody can see it for what it is. This is not about me anymore. It is about a Loudoun Supervisor and her actions in office. However, I am not surprised at all about what is coming to light.

  • Fetch The Dog says:

    Video of Scott York from the town hall meeting:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=af6zc2NSgho&feature=youtu.be

  • BlackOut says:

    Fetch, that is a powerful video. Who said you can’t teach a dog new tricks.

    I especially like how the whole York comment is provided and that it isn’t a chopped bunch of soundbites. Nothing better than giving York some outlets to explain himself.

  • Political Insider says:

    Check the record. Eugene Delgaudio’s actions make it a violation of Federal Law and a Felony. Since the county receives funds from the Federal Government, ED is in violation of the federal laws. Under the federal law, if a local county government receives any money from the Federal Government for anything, then the local officials must also comply with federal laws regarding fundraising from a public property. It is illegal.

  • BlackOut says:

    Fetch’s video seems to introduce the idea that Plowman was the second (a frankly I can’t recall who) individual who saw the Mateer documents back in March.

    Could have been, but I am still betting it was Delgaudio who saw the documents. York would do himself a favor if he spent sometime recall who got them and adding some transparency here.. I would think it would be very uncomfortable having to answer that question after you had your right hand raised for a deposition.

  • David says:

    Charlie King’s letter to the Patch seems weirder every time I read it. First, he tries to quickly forclose on any further suspicion that York discussed the evidence with Delgaudio:

    Since the Chairman admitted keeping Ms. Mateer’s documents was his decision alone, his remarks dispel any notion Supervisor Delgaudio acted behind the scenes to derail an inquiry.

    Now, you might think he would base this assertion on York’s answer to that direct question, seen in the video. But he doesn’t, he bases it on a so-called “admission.” The fabricated admission above is directly contradicted by the real admission that York had, in fact, shared the Mateer documents with Vice-Chair Clarke – so keeping them secret was also her decision.

    Then, for the rest of the letter, after telling us that York provides a credible reason to believe his client hasn’t interfered with the investigation, King repeatedly throws York under the bus. Is York credible or not? King really doesn’t appear to think so, but he also really, really wants us to believe that York didn’t share those documents with Delgaudio without his having to directly endorse York’s denial. All in all, this is making me disinclined to believe that I got an honest answer.

    Although I would be inclined to believe York if he told me that he would like very much to punch Mr. Delgaudio in the face.

  • LoudouninNC says:

    Somewhat off the current vein, but I couldn’t help notice the similarities in the case of Toronto mayor Rob Ford being kicked out of office. It’s almost too perfect…

    “Ford was accused of not declaring a conflict of interest when he participated in a council vote to recommend that he repay donations he solicited for his private football foundation using official city letterhead.”

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Toronto+Mayor+Ford+ordered+removed+from+office/7610401/story.html

  • David says:

    LNC, I saw that. Someone sent me this story, too:

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/11/20/prosecutor-walker-aides-caught-doing-campaign-work-on-taxpayers-dime/

    What is puzzling is why Stamos still doesn’t have the Mateer documents that are now in the custody of Jack Roberts, three weeks after she was appointed special prosecutor. What’s causing the delay?

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