A Loudoun County supervisor who was censured Wednesday by his fellow board members insists he can still be an effective representative for Sterling, Va. residents, even though he's losing funding for staff aides.
"This comes down to, will it affect access to me and there will not be any cessation or stop," said 4-term Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio. "I've survived 80 percent of my four terms without a staff person."
Staff aides have only been funded in recent years.
After hours of contentious debate Wednesday night, the Loudoun Board of Supervisors voted to censure Delgaudio after a special grand jury report found no criminal wrongdoing but did find Delgaudio misused county funds and county staff to do campaign work.
As he held his blaze orange, trademark ball cap in his hand outside his government center office, Delgaudio was subdued but mostly unrepentant.
"I understand what the Board is trying to say,"' Delgaudio said. "They don't like my style and they aren't used to the Sterling style, which is to stand your ground and stand for what you believe in."
In addition to the censure and loss of funding for a staff, Delgaudio is also barred from committee assignments.
Even though Delgaudio said his work will not be impacted, some of his constituents are worried.
Outside a Safeway grocery store along Sterling Boulevard, one woman fondly recalled how Delgaudio helped make sure a bookmobile kept coming to her retirement community.
"I have wonderful heartfelt sympathy," said Jim Arneson. "I'm sorry if he's truly done all those things but he has served us well in the past."
Another Sterling resident fears her community will suffer a loss of representation.
"As the voting person he's supposed to represent, I feel like I don't have full representation with the Loudoun Board," explained Elena Jarvis.
Loudoun County Board Chairman Scott York said Sterling residents will soon be notified about the sanctions against Delgaudio but he said they should notice little change.
"They haven't lost their representation. Supervisor Delgaudio is still on Board of Supervisors and he still has his office and he has a phone and he will be out there representing the district," said York.
Once a Sterling supervisor himself, York reminds, as chairman-at-large, he also represents the community.
"If they can't reach Supervisor Delgaudio they can still call the board offices and reach my office as well and we can take care of any constituent concern they have," promised York.
Supervisor Delgaudio has a lawsuit pending to try to get the Board to reconsider its decision and let him present a full defense.