Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio says a court case seeking his removal from office is a wrongheaded attempt to disenfranchise voters who elected him four times.
Delgaudio opponents are petitioning to a Loudoun County judge to oust the county supervisor from office under a rarely used law that allows removal for neglect of duty or incompetence.
"This is really pretty rare," says Stephen Farnsworth, a professor at the University of Mary Washington. "The standard way that people in local or state or federal government get rid of people they don't like is to vote for somebody else."
The petition cites an investigation last year into whether Delgaudio used his county staff to support his conservative nonprofit group, Public Advocate of the United States. A special grand jury declined to indict him, but his fellow supervisors censured him. Farnsworth says opponents seek to gain even if the court case goes nowhere.
"Bringing this case before the Loudoun County Circuit Court raises the possibility that opponents of his performance will be in a better position to challenge him in the next election," Farnsworth says.
Delgaudio has developed a national reputation as an opponent of gay rights. He says he looks forward to defending his record in court next week.