By Brody Levesque | WASHINGTON -- The Washington Post has reported that four-term Loudoun County Virginia, Supervisor Eugene A. Delgaudio (R-Sterling), one of the Washington region’s most controversial politicians and head of a Southern Poverty Law Center declared hate group, the Public Advocate of the United States, is under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for questionable campaign fund raising practices.
According to the Post, a former staffer in Delgaudio's Loudon County Supervisor offices, Donna Mateer, a part-time aide, was tasked by Delgaudio to perform fund raising duties that fell outside of those legally allowed under Virginia law and against county policies. Mateer told the Post that she came to believe that what she was doing was unethical. She filed a complaint with the county’s Human Resources Department in which she also alleged a hostile work environment.
Delgaudio has publicly denounced gay people as “perverts” and “freaks” and routinely injected himself into heated political battles across the country through his conservative nonprofit group, Public Advocate of the United States.
In particular, Delgaudio has used Public Advocate to rail against same-sex-marriage initiatives in various states and argue that federal anti-bullying legislation and even airport pat-downs are evidence of a “radical homosexual” agenda.
In Loudoun County, the veteran supervisor has long been viewed as something of an eccentric, but recently he has gained more widespread attention. This year, Public Advocate was designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. ~ The Washington Post
Wednesday the civil rights group announced that it filed a federal lawsuit in U. S. District Court in Denver, Colorado, alleging that Delgaudio's Public Advocate unlawfully used an altered version of a same-sex couple’s engagement photo on anti-gay-marriage campaign literature in Colorado.
Contacted Wednesday, Delgaudio declined to comment on the SPLC lawsuit.
In interviews,[With the Washington Post & other local media outlets.] Delgaudio maintained that he has done nothing wrong and strongly denied that he used any county resources to help benefit his political campaign, which would amount to a violation of a county policy that prohibits employees from engaging in political activities “during assigned working hours.”
For years, Delgaudio, 57, has been well known for his antics: Through his role as president of Public Advocate, he has also distributed a steady stream of newsletters and mass mailings advocating his conservative causes and frequently prompting condemnation from equality groups. One e-mail last year depicted a murder scene with blood stains in the colors of a rainbow, a symbol of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
The Post reports that Mateer had made copies of e-mails and documents, including the lists of names used to schedule fundraising appointments just prior to her being sacked by Delgaudio. She told the paper that she turned over those documents and evidence to the FBI agents, who interviewed her in late July about Delgaudio’s fundraising practices and his involvement with Public Advocate.
According to the Post, three other former aides said that they have also been recently questioned about Delgaudio by FBI agents. Spokesmen for the FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia both said they could neither confirm nor deny an investigation.
Delgaudio reacted by telling the paper he did not see a problem with having Public Advocate work so closely with his county office, noting that his employees have to coordinate with one another to keep track of where he is and what he needs to do. “You’re going to micromanage how I conduct my two jobs?” Delgaudio said. “I think that’s really absurd.”