School Board Shuts Down Discussion of Maloney’s Arrest

One week after Loudoun County School Board member Joy Maloney was arrested at a Donald Trump campaign rally, three of her colleagues wanted to discuss possibly censuring her at tonight’s board meeting, but they were out-voted.

Maloney was arrested at the rally, held at Briar Woods High School on Aug. 2, for allegedly refusing to leave after having her ticket revoked, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. She was released on a $1,000 unsecured bond, and faces a class 1 misdemeanor charge for trespassing.

Jill Turgeon (Blue Ridge) introduced a motion at tonight’s board meeting to request that the board discuss censuring—strongly expressing disapproval—Maloney for her actions. “I think it would behoove the board and the community to address this and move on,” Turgeon said.

She was joined in support of the discussion by Eric DeKenipp (Catoctin), who co-wrote the proposed resolution, and Jeff Morse (Dulles), who said he would support a discussion of the matter.

Chairman Eric Hornberger (Ashburn), Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) and Tom Marshall (Leesburg) opposed any discussion of the incident, saying that it was not School Board business. Beth Huck (At Large) and Maloney also opposed the motion. Debbie Rose (Algonkian) was absent from the meeting.

DeKenipp argued that the matter is of concern to the board. “When a School Board member willfully refuses to follow police orders on school property in front of thousands, and as a result was literally dragged to a police car, that is a concern of the board,” he said. “I was elected on a platform of accountability, and tonight I’m here to hold one of my own to account.”

Ahead of the vote, Maloney thanked those who have expressed support both publicly and privately to her following her arrest. Then she attempted to explain what had happened: “First and foremost, I absolutely made no attempt to block anyone’s entrance into the rally,” she said.

Hornberger stopped her and said she would have to save those comments for the discussion, if there were enough votes to hold one.

“Fine,” Maloney said.

Turgeon and Hornberger debated for several minutes whether the board needed a majority vote in order to have a discussion brought up as part of new business. The matter was finally settled when division counsel Stephen DeVita was called to weigh in. DeVita agreed with Hornberger, that board policy requires a majority vote for such a discussion to be held as part of new business agenda. But a board member can request to place the matter on the agenda seven days in advance of a future meeting.

Turgeon said she’d prefer to talk about it now and move on. “But if the board wants to drag this on to September then so be it. Consider this the notification that I want this on the September 13 agenda.”

After the meeting, Turgeon shared the comments she’d hoped to read from the dais with Loudoun Now. She wrote that she would never discourage any of her colleagues from engaging in political or advocacy activities.

“I firmly believe this is the backbone of our country and should not be denied to anyone,” she continued. “The proposed resolution to censure is a result of my concerns over an elected official refusing to adhere to the direct requests of a law enforcement officer. … With Ms. Maloney’s arrest being so public, with several emails to the board expressing disapproval, as well as staff members who have expressed (to me personally) disappointment in her behavior, I did not feel that it would be prudent for us to ignore and dismiss the severity of her actions.”

Maloney is scheduled to appear in Loudoun County District Court on Sept. 14. If convicted, she could face up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $2,500.

7 thoughts on “School Board Shuts Down Discussion of Maloney’s Arrest

  • 2016-08-10 at 12:00 am

    Little did they know but Maloney’s defenders ripped a possible defense out from under her. Maloney supporters have suggested that “school authorities” have automatic access to private events held on school grounds (see B-4). Using this theory, the LCSO order to leave the premises would be an unlawful trespass command and Maloney could claim she merely disobeyed an unlawful order.

    But that defense is gone now. Multiple LCSB members said it was not “school board business”. Thus, Maloney cannot claim that she was acting in an official school board capacity by attending the rally. The LCSO order was proper. She disobeyed. Thus, absent some unknown info, she should be convicted.

    DeKenipp’s answer was interesting. DeKenipp is one of the LCSB members who must answer in federal court for banning a parent (a decorated veteran with an impeccable record at that) from his children’s school simply for asking critical questions at a PTA meeting. Now, he must explain why school board members can disobey actual law enforcement orders (something that LCSB never accused the parent of doing) but yet Maloney is not restricted in the slightest from schools with children present. That should make for some interesting testimony down in Alexandria.

    Overall, the meeting was a disaster for Supt Williams, LCSB and LCPS in general. Numerous speakers discussed LCPS’ suicide intervention policy and why the policy had been removed from the LCPS website immediately after the Love + Jay facebook page referenced it online (see July 18 comment @ 10:27am by Mike Hill). Supt Williams shockingly claimed that LCPS did not “knowingly” remove it. But for the online discussion, is there any doubt that policy would still be online? And several school board members claimed they didn’t know it was removed. But school board members addresses were posted on the site so citizens could contact them and some even participated.

    However, some posts clearly showed an online conversation with Debbie Rose stating LCPS couldn’t comment because the family had obtained counsel. Say what? Since when does a union having a lawyer on staff mean a school district can no longer talk to the union? Is it credible that Rose and other board members really didn’t know the policy was removed?

    There are no limits to the deceit and lies emanating from the school board and “leadership”.

  • 2016-08-10 at 11:02 am

    Unfortunately, we now have politics intertwined with school boards, when it should have been left in the hallway. Clearly, Ms. Maloney will have to face someday, in an election setting, pictures of her being arrested on school property (for whatever reason that it happened). That is the price one pays for such actions. However, that does not give a green light to those members of the school board supported by the Loudoun County Republican Committee to turn this into a three ring circus, at a school board meeting. When those members of the school board who pulled this stunt, did so, during a school board meeting, they purposefully turned this into game-playing. No amount of chest thumping and woo is us claims disguises what this really was. Cheap political theater.

  • 2016-08-10 at 12:14 pm

    “Maloney is scheduled to appear in Loudoun County District Court on Sept. 14. If convicted, she could face up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $2,500.” Sounds to me she should just issue an apology from the dais and move on or the judge might throw the book at her and order her to jail. This doesn’t serve the people of the Broad Run district very well.

  • 2016-08-10 at 12:39 pm

    The “reason” my good friend Lawgh, would be showing contempt to law enforcement. You know, and I know, along with everyone else, she went out of her way to be arrested at a political event on school property. Out of thousands of people there, she was the only one who managed to get locked up. And now you’re attempting to categorize politics into good and bad? You’re better than that.

    Relax pal. Everyone knows nothing is going to happen to her. Democrats are never held accountable for anything they do. It’s always the fault of law enforcement in their world view. Laws are for little people… not the goose-stepping party elite.

    I’m proud of my elected official standing up to the party bosses on the school board. DeKenipp is absolutely correct in his assessment. This is indeed an issue for the board. Anything less is sending the message that elected officials are not accountable for any of their actions.

  • 2016-08-10 at 1:42 pm

    Ken Reid just demonstrated my point. He comments on this situation, and yet, look at his own problems. Ken Reid has many, and I mean many, serious traffic convictions, here in Loudoun County, over the years. So, maybe Ken Reid needs to remember the old line of those who live in glass houses. Or, live up to his own world view, and remove himself from the Leesburg Town election ballot for this November. Of course, that would require that Ken Reid be an honorable person. Which of course, he is not.

    • 2016-08-11 at 12:59 pm

      My gratitude to Ken for stepping down from the county board.

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