The effort to remove School Board member Beth Barts (Leesburg) from office is scheduled to move to a formal show cause hearing Monday morning.
The recall case, brought by a voter petition organized by the Fight for Schools group, is set for 9 a.m. Sept. 13 in Loudoun County Circuit Court.
Bart’s attorney Charlie King last week filed a motion to dismiss the pleading against her, and for the local judges to recuse themselves from the case.
King argued that the pleading that Fight for Schools filed, accompanying the removal petition, wasn’t signed by an attorney. The pleading was signed by Mike Biron on behalf of the petitioners. Biron is not a member of the Virginia State Bar.
The recusal motion asks that Circuit Court judges recuse themselves from the case, and request a judge be designated by the state Supreme Court because the case involves local elected officials.
Fight for Schools launched the removal effort against several School Board members in response to their involvement in the private Facebook group, Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County. Organizer Ian Prior alleges that a School Board member discussing public matters in a private Facebook group is a violation Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act and the School Board’s Code of Conduct.
Fight for Schools’ 24-page filing also requested that Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj be recused from the case, as she was identified as being a member of the same Facebook group.
To remove a public official from office in Virginia, a petition must collect the number of signatures of qualified voters in the district equal to 10% of the votes cast in the previous election for that office. A judge then reviews the petition and rules whether to dismiss it or conduct a trial.