DelGrosso and community responds to unethical practices

U.S. Republican Congressional Candidate Michael DelGrosso and members of his community responded yesterday to a public statement released by former Shuster staffer Joshua Juda regarding a widely publicized “spying” incident that took place in DelGrosso’s neighborhood in September.
“I feel badly for my neighbors and for the young staffer who is obviously deeply troubled personally and professionally by this incident,” DelGrosso said.
Last week, Congressman Shuster admitted the surveillance of DelGrosso’s home did take place, but that it occurred without his direction or knowledge. In a released statement, Congressman Shuster said that he had learned that an “overzealous volunteer” had engaged in surveillance on his own time.
Juda’s statements directly contradicts Shuster’s assertions. In an open letter to the press, Juda state that he was given direct instructions from Congressman Shuster to carry out the surveillance on DelGrosso’s home in Tipton on more than one occasion, and that the activity took place “on payroll.”
In his statement, Juda said he was first asked to conduct unethical practices on June 6 when directed by the Congressman to monitor a fundraiser at DelGrosso’s Amusement Park in Tipton. According to Juda, he was also asked, by both Shuster and his chief of staff, Alex Mistri, to observe DelGrosso’s activities at his home on two separate occasions in September.
“At each occasion, it was my understanding that I was functioning in my capacity as a congressional staff member for which I was being paid through the Congressional payroll,” said Juda. “I was not employed by any other outside organization or internal division of Congressman Shuster’s office.”
DelGrosso said this is why these incidents should not be taken lightly.
“If this is true, the implications are serious,” DelGrosso said. “It is a direct violation of House ethics rules and it could have serious legal consequences. Congressional staffers – people on the public payroll – should not be engaged in political activities like surveillance. Voters of the Ninth District deserve the truth, they deserve a Congressman they can trust.”
A neighbor of DelGrosso who was very outspoken in the public about the “spying” incidents, told The Daily Herald yesterday that although she didn’t condone what Shuster or his staff did, that she was happy this was a political ploy.
“I have a 5-year-old daughter and I feared for her,” said Glenna Jayne-Hughes, who authored a Letter to the Editor that was distributed to newspapers throughout the Ninth District concerning the incident.
Hughes said she felt bad for Juda and understood that he was only following orders.
“It’s a shame,” she said.
Hughes did say that Shuster came to her home on Saturday morning to offer an apology, which she accepted. She also said that the he claimed Juda only did this once. She said she knew Shuster was not being truthful.
“If he (Shuster) would have come clean about this in September, I think it would not have gotten to this point,” she said.
DelGrosso said despite the incident, he must continue to look forward to the April 27 election.
“I remain focused on the real issues that people care about,” said DelGrosso. “The headlines should be about jobs and healthcare, not about a Congressional staffer spying on my nieghborhood. It’s business as usual at DelGrosso For Congress. Tomorrow I will surpass (knocking on) 6,5000 doors when I visit Indiana County.”