Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman penned a detailed response to a Republican hit piece last month, which has left the GOP faction opposing him, thus far, dumbfounded. Composed within a few hours’ time span, the Chapman article is remarkable both for its comprehensiveness and clarity – in a campaign that, so far, has seen some confusing messages.
As noted in yesterday’s post, the Loudoun County Republican Committee faction supporting Chapman’s “tag team” of opponents includes Sterling Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio. “Endorsements” is probably a topic worth its own post, but I will expand a little on what I said yesterday: I think sometimes endorsements reveal more about networking than they do about public policy. The tag team has Delgaudio and Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Plowman and some prominent activists; Chapman has Ollie North, Barbara Comstock, Mike Farris and his own host of prominent Loudoun activists.
I can think of a couple reasons that Delgaudio weighed in on this race, one of which is, half of the tag team duo is former Loudoun deputy Ricky Frye who was stationed in Sterling district for some time. While I am a Delgaudio supporter for a number of years, I find it odd that he did this, and I wonder if he really thought it through.
Because it looks to me like Mike Chapman made some changes in the Sheriff’s Office that some of the existing deputies did not like (and in fact it looks like some were committed to taking Chapman down from the moment Chapman took office). But we did elect Chapman, after all, to replace Steve Simpson in 2011 and presumably also to make changes. Sterling was one of the areas where residents took an active interest in the Sheriff’s department in recent years, and one would think that rolling back the clock, to reinstall the old regime that Chapman has shaken up, would not be high on the Sterling supervisor’s list of priorities. But whomever is supposed to be benefiting from Eugene Delgaudio sticking his neck out for the tag team – I hope they appreciate it.
Anyway, Delgaudio circulated a message both in email and paper copies criticizing Sheriff Chapman. The Sheriff, immediately, sent out the following message listing all of Delgaudio’s points and answering them in full:
FROM LOUDOUN COUNTY SHERIFF MIKE CHAPMAN:
“Sterling District Supervisor Supports Flawed Candidate”
Last night, Supervisor Delgaudio sent an email message out in support of my opponent, utilizing statements solely from my opponent, without checking a single fact. The information Delgaudio relayed was FALSE. It is time to distinguish fact from fiction.
Fiction: Supervisor Delgaudio accused me of being a liberal.
Fact: False: I am a fiscally conservative Republican and due to the management efficiencies I put in place, the LCSO was able to return over $4.5M in budgeted funds to the county over the past three years.
Fiction: Supervisor Delgaudio accused me of being inexperienced at the local level, having served only federally.
Fact: False. I served law enforcement at the local level for over 10 years; 7 with the Howard County MD Police Department (3 Patrol, 3 SWAT, 1-Detective), 3 with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, 23 as a Federal Special Agent (Drug Enforcement Administration), and 3 as a law enforcement Subject Matter Expert with Booz Allen and Hamilton. I served in critical law enforcement capacities all over the world. Additionally, I have a Master’s Degree in Public Administration; a Bachelor’s in Business Management. I am a recent graduate of the National Sheriff’s Institute, the VA Sheriff’s Institute, and the FBI’s National Executive Institute and stay educated and involved with the latest trends and techniques in addressing and preventing crime. My opponent’s has never been an investigator, and has far less education, training and experience.
Fiction: Supervisor Delgaudio said that Loudoun County has a DUI problem.
Fact: False. Over the last three years, FBI statistics show that DUI arrests nationwide have decreased 17.3%. Loudoun’s DUI incidents have decreased 12.6%, a reduction that began prior to my taking office. These reductions reflect a national trend of fewer people driving while under the influence. Many now utilize ride-shares such as Uber, taxi-cabs, and designated drivers. This demonstrates that aggressive enforcement combined with education and prevention, are effective when applied together.
Fiction: Supervisor Delgaudio said that I was REQUIRED to attend mandatory budget meetings after a “multi-million dollar bailout”.
Fact: False. The budget in question fell under the Admin and Tech division and was handled by my opponent, Eric Noble. Over two years ago, Noble provided County budget personnel with misleading information that projected an exaggerated budget shortfall of $2.9M due to overtime payments. To cover the projected shortfall, the BOS released $1.9 M withheld for vacancy savings. I worked with the BOS, applied efficiencies and corrected the shortfall – ultimately returning all but $500K of the $1.9M advanced.
To ensure this would not happen again, I removed Eric Noble from the budget process and REQUESTED monthly meetings with Finance Chair Supervisor Buona. This process allowed me to engage directly at every stage. As a result, the LCSO returned over $4.5 M in budgeted monies over the past three years. It also enabled me to challenge the policy of forced vacancy savings which resulted in the LCSO’s ability to acquire 21 new deputy positions. The LCSO is now better staffed than it ever has been.
Fiction: Supervisor Delgaudio said that $300K was spent for New Uniforms under my administration.
Fact: False. The $300,000 purchase for new uniforms happened under the PREVIOUS administration. Black uniforms were simply preferred by the deputies, more cost effective and easier to maintain regarding color consistency. Any purchases after the change of administration would have been done by Eric Noble. If he had any issues with uniform purchases, it would have been his responsibility to address those issues with me and he did not.
Fiction: Supervisor Delgaudio said I “pull” deputies off the street to serve on “shadowy task forces.”
Fact: False. Full time task force staff assignments by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office have not changed. Beginning with the former administration, the LCSO had 2 deputies assigned as needed to Congressman Wolf’s Northern VA Gang Task Force (NVGTF); one assigned to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and one assigned to DEA’s High Intensity Drug Enforcement Task Force (HIDTA).
I moved one investigator from the NVGTF to the HIDTA. This action helped achieve a 600% increase in multi-jurisdictional drug arrests and in the identification of a suspected Baltimore based heroin trafficker responsible for at least one known fatal heroin overdose in Loudoun County.
Working with the HITDA, the LCSO also increased asset seizures from $60,547 in in 2013 to $293,003 in 2014. Those asset seizures allowed the LCSO to replace investigative and technical equipment dating back to the 1980s, and enabled the purchase a Leica 360 Total Station Laser Diagramming Device – technology that provides 3D virtual representations of major crime and fatal accident scenes. This machine is a critical component of today’s law enforcement technology and was purchased WITHOUT COSTING COUNTY TAXPAYERS ANYTHING!!
Fiction: Delgaudio also made other false representations about the Western Loudoun Station, “Cooks for Crooks,” and Sergeants.
Fact: The Western Loudoun Station was a project underway for more than a decade before I took office. I worked diligently with the Board of Supervisors to significantly scale back the size and cost of the project in order to fulfill the law enforcement and community needs of Western Loudoun, while providing a reasonable and up-to-date facility for LCSO deputies to work from.
Fact: Supervisor Delgaudio’s mischaracterization of “Cooks for Crooks” is unfounded. This initiative actually enabled the Adult Detention Center to utilize locally prepared food at an overall cost savings to Loudoun taxpayers. It is simply cheaper to prepare meals at the facility than contract out for meals.
Fact: Supervisor Delgaudio opposed the addition of a second Sergeant to oversee the current 24 School Resource Officers, despite the fact that SRO’s handled 6925 incidents in 2014 alone. A reasonable request was made to add another Sergeant to ensure an appropriate level of supervision and keep our schools and children safe.
Fact: Supervisor Delgaudio is correct in stating that Eric Noble was unrecognized as a leader, and there are reasons for this. While serving under my administration, I promoted Eric Noble to our command staff. Unfortunately, he displayed fundamental competence, character and integrity flaws. Loudoun citizens and business owners expect and demand more from their Sheriff than a disgruntled former deputy.