Judge dismisses recall effort against Delgaudio

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LEESBURG, Va. (AP) — A judge has dismissed a recall petition filed against a Loudoun County Supervisor after a prosecutor said there was insufficient evidence of wrongdoing.

Eugene Delgaudio, a four-term Republican supervisor from Sterling known as an outspoken social conservative, had been accused of using his county staff to raise funds for his political campaigns.

A criminal grand jury last year declined to indict him, but a group of Loudoun County Democrats sought his ouster under a rarely used law allowing for removal of elected officials for "neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties."

Arlington County Commonwealth's Attorney Theo Stamos, appointed to prosecute the case, told a judge at a hearing Tuesday that there was insufficient evidence of any wrongdoing, and the judge dismissed the petition.

In court papers, Stamos, who also led the criminal investigation into Delgaudio's conduct, said the evidence shows that Delgaudio mistreated and verbally abused some staff members, but that evidence is lacking to prove that Delgaudio misused his office.

"Two years, hundreds of hours, and thousands of dollars have been expended investigating this matter. A much better use of petitioners' time ... might well be to identify and recruit a candidate from Sterling to run against Mr. Delgaudio in the next election," Stamos wrote.

Delgaudio says he has been wrongly targeted because he opposes gay rights.

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