Prosecutor seeks verification of signatures in Loudoun Co. school board recall

Loudoun County prosecutor Buta Biberaj plans to ask that the county elections board ensures that signatures seeking the recall of School Board Chair Brenda Sheridan in Virginia are valid.

And despite being disqualified from an earlier case seeking the recall of board member Beth Barts, Biberaj tells WTOP she doesn’t expect to recuse herself in the Sheridan case.

”Right now, the only parties that are part of the proceedings are the commonwealth and Ms. Sheridan,” Biberaj said. “There is no motion before the court calling for that.”

Barts resigned during the recall effort.

Unlike in Barts’ case, Biberaj said she wants to make sure the petition signatures are valid.

”We will be asking the court to have the Board of Elections for Loudoun County certify those signatures,” Biberaj said.

Fight For Schools — the group that has led the recall efforts against Sheridan, Barts and board member Atoosa Reaser — has asked Chief Circuit Judge Douglas Fleming to allow them to join citizens from Sterling in the court action.

Although the group has filed a motion calling for Biberaj’s disqualification, a judge has yet to determine the group has standing to join the case.

In a motion, Fight For Schools says it “represents parents who do not live in the Sterling District, and thereby could not sign the petitions that give rise to this removal action, but whose children attend Loudoun County Public Schools and have suffered as a result of action of board member Sheridan.”

The recall effort against Sheridan says she “joined a private Facebook group with other school board members that sought to identify and harass parents who had expressed opposition to the preferred policies of Sheridan and her allies on the school board.”

In addition, the group says Sheridan did little to prevent the second sexual assault at a local high school by the same teenager.

The group says Biberaj has voiced opposition to its recall effort.

”My intention is to continue forward, and to prosecute this case as the facts permit. We are in the investigatory part of the process to see what evidence supports the petition as presented,” Biberaj said.

In the Barts case, the judge allowed Fight For Schools to intervene, and disqualified Biberaj, to avoid the appearance of bias.

Sheridan has filed a motion to quash. Voters have repeatedly supported her performance, she said, and she intends to finish her term as board chair.

Fleming scheduled the next hearing for Dec. 6.

Like WTOP on Facebook and follow WTOP on Twitter and Instagram to engage in conversation about this article and others.

Get breaking news and daily headlines delivered to your email inbox by signing up here.

© 2021 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

Federal News Network Logo

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up