A judge on Tuesday thwarted a far-left prosecutor who likely would have blocked citizens from recalling a Loudoun County school board member, ruling that the process of recalling Beth Barts, who was censured for repeatedly attacking parents, can proceed under a special prosecutor instead.
After Barts was stripped of her committee duties following partisan activism that frequently took the form of attacking parents, she summoned a mob of vigilantes in an “anti-racist” Facebook group who threatened to “hack” opinionated parents, with a sheriff’s investigation concluding that the parents were largely put in the crosshairs for questioning the extended school closures pushed by teachers unions.
The Facebook group included several elected officials — including the county’s top elected prosecutor, Buta Biberaj. In Virginia, elected officials cannot be recalled by getting a certain number of signatures from voters; rather, meeting that threshold triggers a trial in which a prosecutor argues to a judge that the elected official has taken actions that warrant removal, including misuse of office, neglect of duty, and incompetence.
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Biberaj did not offer to recuse herself despite the apparent conflict of interest, which included participating in the Facebook group and tweeting a letter to the editor dismissing parents who sought a school board recall as rabble-rousers.
Biberaj won election in 2019 by a one percent margin after receiving more than $800,000 in outside help from George Soros. Her opponent, an incumbent Republican prosecutor, spent $150,000.
In neighboring Fairfax last month, another progressive prosecutor decided to simply drop a recall case against a school board member despite citizens meeting the threshold, without disclosing his apparent conflicts of interest to the judge.
Ian Prior, executive director of a group called Fight For Schools that helped gather recall signatures against Barts, told The Daily Wire that a judge heard three motions Tuesday and ruled in favor of parents in all of them.
“Beth Barts was trying to dismiss the petitions claiming the affidavit portion of it was invalid. Fight For Schools had a motion to intervene in the case, and a motion to dismiss Buta Biberaj and appoint a special nonpartisan prosecutor. We won on all motions,” he said. “The judge asked for about a week to appoint a special prosecutor, then we move forward into the next phase of discovery and investigation, with Fight for Schools as an intervenor in the case.”
About 25 parents supporting the recall were in the courtroom, he said, while Biberaj appeared in person to argue against the ability of the parents’ group to become a full participant in the case.
Biberaj did not immediately return a request for comment.
The victory for parents against a justice system that seems to be working against them comes just after the National School Boards Association demanded the federal government investigate “threats” and incidents at school board meetings that they claim “could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes,” and Attorney General Merrick Garland offered assistance.
It also comes days after Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Terry McAuliffe, repeatedly said he does not think parents should be telling schools what to teach.
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A previous version of this article inaccurately stated that the NSBA likened parents “angry about school failures” to domestic terrorists. The NSBA referred to incidences that “could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism.”