Taxpayers on the hook for politician’s legal fees

WASHINGTON — They tried and failed to remove a local politician from office.

Now, Loudoun County taxpayers have to foot the bill for his legal fees.

A month after County Circuit Judge Paul Sheridan dismissed the recall petition of county Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio — a document signed by more than 600 voters in Sterling, Virginia — county taxpayers have to pay roughly $30,000 in legal fees, the amount it cost for Delgaudio’s defense fund.

Charles King, Delgaudio’s attorney, cites Virginia law that states elected officials, who are acquitted or if the petition is dropped, can ask for reimbursement. On Friday, the judge granted a motion to repay Delgaudio for the money he spent on defense against the recall petition.

King says he’s gotten several questions wondering why those who signed the petition don’t have to pay back the money. So why are taxpayers on the hook? Virginia law says the money for the reimbursement should come from where the politician served.

King, on behalf of Delgaudio, filed two motions in circuit court this month: one for the reimbursement of fees and costs for defense; the other was a question about what to do with the grand jury transcripts.

Delgaudio was the subject of a criminal investigation, but a grand jury did not indite him. Instead, the jury issued a scathing report. On July 25, a judge decided to keep the grand jury transcripts under seal.

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