Last Friday, Commonwealth Attorney Jim Hingeley voluntarily dismissed the removal case brought by Fairfax parents against Fairfax County School Board Member Elaine Tholen. Hingeley, one of five Soros-backed Commonwealth Attorney’s in Virginia was hand-selected to “represent” these parents by Fairfax Commonwealth Attorney Steven Descano, who is also a member of the Soros-backed prosecutor club and recused from the case before selecting Hingeley to parachute in from neighboring Albemarle County.
Make no mistake, this is a travesty of justice. In Virginia, when removal cases are filed against abusive public officials, the case is litigated not by the petitioners’ attorney, but by the Commonwealth Attorney. In this case, Fairfax parents spent over ten months collecting 5,000 signatures to remove one of their school board members for her failure to open schools last year. The Court ruled that the case could proceed, but the Commonwealth Attorney chose to voluntarily dismiss the case. His message was clear – he had no interest in holding public officials accountable on behalf of their constituents.
We may soon see similar backroom deals and hijinks in Loudoun County, where the national spotlight has been burning bright on the school board for months. In April, Republican, Democrat, and independent parents launched a non-partisan organization called Fight for Schools, which has been collecting signatures for over three months to remove six school board members for their role in a private Facebook group - the “Anti-Racists of Loudoun County - that plotted against parents for speaking up at school board meetings against school closures and the use of critical race theory in schools.
Dozens of parents have collected nearly 17,000 signatures and are closing in on being able to file removal actions in the coming weeks. And based on the presence of international media at the last Loudoun County School Board meetings, the coverage will go beyond Loudoun, beyond Virginia, and even beyond the United States. It is not an understatement to say the whole world will be watching to see if our government institutions will give voice to Loudoun parents, grandparents and taxpayers. To observe an experiment in Democracy where those institutions can diligently adhere to the rule of law and hold elected officials accountable, regardless of party politics.
But as was the case in Fairfax, a Soros-backed prosecutor will be involved. Loudoun County’s Commonwealth Attorney, Buta Biberaj, received $700K from a Soros Super PAC. Biberaj herself is subject to a separate removal effort for her membership and activities in the Anti-Racists of Loudoun County Facebook group. Biberaj also recently shared an opinion piece on her social media that falsely claimed that Fight for Schools has fabricated charges against members of the School Board. It is safe to say that Biberaj does not want the removal efforts to succeed and, even if she recuses, will first try and steer the case to an activist prosecutor in Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William, or Albemarle County.
The question that the ruling class in Loudoun County should ask themselves is whether they want their county to continue to be highlighted in the press by rigging the system to protect one of their own from the consequences of her reprehensible behavior.
Take the case of school board member Beth Barts. Prior to her actions in the Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County, was had already been publicly reprimanded, then censured, then stripped of her committees – by her own colleagues. She routinely violates the Open Meetings Act, the Freedom of Information Act, and her own Code of Conduct. She helped gin up a mob of activists to plot and scheme against parents to try and silence those that were opposed to her policies.
When she was interviewed by the police, she made false statements about her role and deleted key evidence that showed her motive to silence her opposition. She was the key player in the effort to not only suspend a teacher for exercising his First Amendment rights, but also to encourage her followers to create further disruptions to keep him suspended.
Make no mistake, the removal case against Beth Barts will test those in positions of power in Loudoun County. Will winks and nods from activist prosecutors result in her being able to escape accountability and continue to destroy the community’s trust in their schools and their school board? Or are there enough adults in Loudoun County’s governing institutions to recognize the nightmare that would result in fixing the process to save someone like Barts from having to explain to her constituents in Court why she should not be removed?
The world will soon have its answer as to whether this experiment in Democracy and the voice of the parents, grandparents, and taxpayers can prevail over political alliances, backroom deals, and cronyism in government.