The conservative group Stand Up Virginia announced its attempt to have Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj removed from office during a press conference today outside of the county government center, asserting that Biberaj disregards domestic violence cases, among other charges.
Stand Up Virginia is also pushing for the removal of Fairfax Attorney Steve Descano.
“Ms. Buta Biberaj, you do not do your job,” Stand Up Virginia President Brenda Tillett said, standing among about 20 supporters during the July 8 event. Three people in the crowd wore masks to represent anonymous victims at the hands of Biberaj’s office.
“Although we have a large crowd here today, there were people who called and said we would love to support you as organizations and as an individual, but we’re afraid of Buta Biberaj,” Tillett said.
To remove an elected official, the group will have to gather Loudoun signatures equal to 10% of the total number of votes cast at the last election for that office—in Biberaj’s case, 11,279 signatures. A Circuit Court must then find “neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties when that neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties has a material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office,” according to state law.
Stand Up Virginia’s counsel Andrew Kersey acknowledged that removing Biberaj would be a challenge.
“It is a unique remedy, one that I have not seen in my 25 years practicing law, certainly not involving a Commonwealth’s Attorney,” Kersey said.
Sean Kennedy, the policy director at the Law Enforcement Defense Fund, spoke on behalf of Stand Up Virginia. Although he was identified as working for the Fund, he said he was speaking as a private citizen.
“The progressive prosecutor movement is not unique here. … There are about 75 of these progressive prosecutors across the country using the doctrine of prosecutorial discretion to rewrite the law,” Kennedy said.
Kersey said it likely would take months to collect enough signatures for the petition to be picked up by a judge.
This article was updated July 8 at 7:04 p.m. to correct an incorrect name.