Recall Effort Against Loudoun School Board Member Beth Barts Clears Initial Hurdles

Fight for Schools PAC had three minor wins in court this week in the effort to recall Loudoun County School Board Member Beth Barts. In a Tuesday hearing, the circuit court judge denied Barts’ motion to dismiss the recall petition, agreed to appoint a special prosecutor, and granted the PAC’s motion to intervene.

“Today was a very good day in court for Fight For Schools and a bad day for Beth Barts and her efforts to silence and criminalize parents in Loudoun County. Beth Barts tried to get all of the signatures that we have collected thrown out, the judge ruled against her and in our favor. The case will proceed,” Fight for Schools said on Facebook.

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Open Fairfax County School Board Files Motion to Reconsider Elaine Tholen Recall

Elaine Tholen for Fairfax County School Board, Dranesville

The Open FCPS Coalition is calling for the court to reconsider the recall case against Fairfax County School Board member Elaine Tholen. In a Monday press release, the coalition alleged that the prosecutor who said there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue the case had conflicts of interest.

“Following James Hingeley’s decision to not represent the over 5,000 voters that signed a recall petition against Elaine Tholen, it was revealed that Hingeley actually campaigned with Ms. Tholen in 2019,” the release states.

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Virginia Court Dismisses Recall Effort Against Fairfax County School Board Member Elaine Tholen at Request of Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney

The effort to recall Fairfax County School Board Member Elaine Tholen hit a dead end Friday, when Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Hingeley asked Fairfax Circuit Court Judge Richard Gardiner to dismiss the recall petition. According to Tholen’s press release, Hingeley said the petition did not have factual allegations that met the legal standard.

“In this case, a small group of people unhappy about Covid restrictions tried to use the law to substitute their opinion for a unanimous consensus of the Fairfax County School Board. I was happy to hear the special prosecutor tell the judge that the case was about a policy disagreement, and that the recall process is not a vehicle to resolve such disputes with elected officials and governing bodies. That is why we have elections,” Tholen said.

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Fight for Schools PAC Has Enough Signatures for Recall Petition Against Loudoun School Board Member Ian Serotkin

Ian Serotkin

A recall petition targeting Loudoun County Public School (LCPS) Board Member Ian Serotkin has 110 percent of the signatures needed, Fight for Schools PAC organizer Ian Prior said Friday. Recall petitions aimed at other school board members are also nearing target amounts. The PAC has 88 percent of signatures needed for the Denise Corbo petition, 75 percent of signatures needed for the Leslee King petition, 54 percent of signatures for the Atoosa Reaser petition, and 50 percent of signatures needed for the Brenda Sheridan petition.

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Virginians for Safe Communities Alleges Misconduct Committed by Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office

Virginians for Safe Communities (VSC) is the second organization to try to recall Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano. Now, the organization wants an ethics investigation into the prosecutor, alleging misconduct in a August 9 letter to the Virginia State Bar (VSB).

“Mr. Descano, as the leader of the office of the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney, has engaged in serious matters of professional misconduct that constitute a violation of the VSB’s Professional Guidelines,” the letter states

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Another Group Aims at Northern Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys for Recall

Another group is targeting northern Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys Buta Biberaj, from Loudoun, and Steve Descano, from Fairfax. This week, Virginians for Safe Communities (VSC) announced recall efforts against Biberaj and Descano, already the targets of a separate organization Stand Up Virginia (SUV). VSC is also targeting Commonwealth’s Attorney Parisa Deghani-Tafti, from Arlington and Falls Church.

“Northern Virginia deserves honest, hard-working, and effective Commonwealth’s Attorneys who seek accountability for criminals, protect our communities, and uphold the law without reservation or ideological blinders,” VSC President Sean Kennedy said in a press release.

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Northern Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys Seek Big Budget Increases

Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano’s (D) office is getting more funding, after the Board of Supervisors adopted a budget for 2022 on Tuesday, according to the Tysons Reporter. The budget includes $8 million for Descano’s office, about 27 percent more than $6.3 million for fiscal year 2021. But that’s far less than the $19.1 million budget Descano has said his office needs.

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Stand Up Virginia Launches Petition to Recall Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Descano

Stand Up Virginia held a rally outside the Fairfax County Government Center on Tuesday evening announcing the launch of an effort to recall Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano. About 75 people attended the event, according to Stand Up Virginia President Brenda Tillett, who said she had also heard from supporters who couldn’t attend due to government jobs.

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Fairfax, Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano Says His Office Will Not Seek Cash Bail

  Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano (D) announced Monday that he would not be seeking cash bail for non-violent offenders, formalizing a policy he and his prosecutors have been practicing since Descano took office in January 2020. “I’ve long said that the laws on the books should match the values…

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New Wave of Prosecutors Pushing to Ignore Sections of Law

Governor Ralph Northam signed a bill on Wednesday requiring judges to dismiss cases when both prosecutors and defense attorneys agree. The bill was born after Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Greg Underwood (D) announced that he would not be prosecuting misdemeanor marijuana cases, according to The Virginian-Pilot. The bill is an example of a national push to allow prosecutors discretion to ignore whole sections of law, according to Heritage Foundation Legal Fellow and former prosecutor Zack Smith.

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Eight Commonwealth’s Attorneys Pledge to Not Enforce Pro-Life Laws

Eight Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorneys pledged that they will not enforce any laws criminalizing abortions. The pledge was signed by over 60 prosecutors and state attorneys general and expresses concern over attempts to pass laws limiting abortion. The Fair and Just Prosecution (FJP) organization published the pledge on October 14, as Congress holds confirmation hearings for Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

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