Jan. 5 Motions Hearing Set in Removal Case Against School Board Chairwoman

A motions hearing in the removal campaign against School Board Chairwoman Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) is set for Jan. 5, and a three-day jury trial is scheduled for March 21-23, should the case advance that far.

During a Monday morning hearing, Circuit Court Judge Jeanette A. Irby reviewed the motions field in the case, including those filed on behalf of the recall petition organizer Fight for Schools to intervene in the case and to disqualify the Loudoun commonwealth’s attorney from prosecuting the case. Sheridan’s attorney submitted a motion to quash the civil lawsuit.

Irby is expected to sort through those issues during the Jan. 5 hearing, as well as to receive information on whether the signatures on the removal petitions have been certified by the Office of Elections as meeting the required threshold of at least 10% of the number of registered Sterling District voters who participated in Sheridan’s 2019 election.

Until a motion to intervene on the behalf of the petitioners is granted, the only parties in the case are the commonwealth, and Sheridan as the defendant.

Fight for Schools organized removal petitions for five School Board members. Removal petitions were also filed against Vice Chairwoman Atoosa Reaser (Algonkian) and Leesburg District representative Beth Barts, who has since resigned. 

Irby presided over the case to remove Barts, and granted Fight for Schools the motion to intervene in the case, as well as the group’s motion to disqualify the Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj. 

Irby said during the Dec. 12 hearing she was aware that Barts had resigned after receiving death threats to her family. She urged participants in the removal case against Sheridan to not engage in such anonymous messaging online.

“I would hope and expect that everyone in this room is participating in the judicial process,” Irby said. 

In the Bart’s case, Irby granted the motion to disqualify Biberaj from prosecuting the recall effort because petition campaign involves many of the same participants as a similar effort seeking to remove Biberaj from office. If Loudoun’s Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office is disqualified, a special prosecutor would be appointed to determine whether the case has merit to advance to trial. 

Fight for Schools is seeking the ouster of School Board members involved in a private Facebook group, Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County. In the group, members allegedly compiled lists of people opposed to the district’s racial equity efforts. In the group, Fight for Schools contends, board members violated open-door meetings guidelines for public officials.

The removal petition also cites that board members were aware of a sexual assault scandal at Stone Bridge High School in May, before the assailant was placed at Broad Run High School where he assaulted a second student in October.

6 thoughts on “Jan. 5 Motions Hearing Set in Removal Case Against School Board Chairwoman

  • 2021-12-06 at 2:18 pm

    Ms. Sheridan should do us all a favor and resign. But expecting this crowd to suddenly develop a sense of duty and conscience is probably expecting a bit too much.

  • 2021-12-06 at 3:20 pm

    Buta Biberaj should recuse herself from this case, as there is a clear conflict of interest, given she was a member of the secret Facebook group going after concerned parents. Buta Biberaj cannot represent the parents she was targeting.

  • 2021-12-06 at 3:50 pm

    Who exactly is “Fight for Schools” and who funds them?

  • 2021-12-06 at 5:10 pm

    This crucification of Brenda Sheridan is most regrettable. She’s was duly elected by a majority of eligible voters on three (3) separate occasions. Her opponents are trying to go in through the back door because they can’t win an election. They’re upset because their regressive policies won’t be accepted by Brenda. I say: “Leave Brenda Alone.” If you want to run an alternate candidate, fine. Do so at the next election. But in the interim, please let Brenda do her job in peace. Happy Holidays Loudoun!

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