Republican Attorney General-elect Jason Miyares—whose transition team includes Loudoun Sheriff Mike Chapman—said wants his office to play a greater role in the prosecution of local criminal cases and that he plans an investigation of sexual assault cases in Loudoun County Public Schools.
During his post-election press conference Thursday, Miyares told reporters he’d be introducing a bill to the General Assembly that would also allow the Attorney General’s Office to intervene in cases when local officials think a local prosecutor isn’t handling the case well.
Currently, county or city prosecutors may request the AG’s Office to handle a local case, but Miyares wants to allow police chiefs and sheriffs also to be able to ask for the state to step in to carry some cases if local prosecutors won’t.
“I’m thinking specifically of some of the so-called social justice commonwealth’s attorneys that have been elected particularly in Northern Virginia,”Miyares said. “We are obviously aware of some pretty horrific cases where they failed to do their job.”
Loudoun’s Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj is under fire from critics who claim her office is not adequately prosecuting crimes and for her handling of the case of a student who was charged with a sexual assault in a high school bathroom and was then transferred to another high school, where he was charged with a second assault.
Miyares said he plans to investigate the handling of those Loudoun assault cases.
Biberaj, who campaigned on prosecutorial reform, is the subject of an announced recall effort spearheaded by the activist group StandUp Virginia.