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Sunday, January 6, 2019

Court dismisses petition to recall Sandy Evans

Evans
A petition to recall Mason District school board member Sandy Evans was dismissed by the Fairfax County Circuit Court, the Fairfax Times reported Jan. 4.

A group called Citizens for Government Integrity LLC had filed a petition to remove Evans from office alleging “neglect of duty, misuse of office, and incompetence” during her leadership to change the name of JEB Stuart High School.

“I’m pleased to have this frivolous and irresponsible petition put to rest by the court’s dismissal action,” Evans said. “The petition organizers themselves asked for the dismissal, an acknowledgement that they knew they were about to fail in court yet again.”

The school board voted to change the name of the school in July 2017 and adopted the name Justice High School in October 2017.

Citizens for Government Integrity had collected 1,307 signatures from Mason District voters on the recall petition.

According to school board policy, the board could consider changing a school’s name if “a compelling need exists.” The petition argued there was no compelling need to change the name of Stuart High School and that Evans ignored community input after 56 percent of Mason residents said in a survey they opposed a name change.

According to Ballotpedia, Evans disputed the allegations that she did not take the community’s opinions seriously, noting she spent a lot of time reading comments from the public and that most people’s objections to a name change had to do with the cost.

The name “Justice” incorporates the three alternative names on the survey, which when added up, got more votes than retaining Stuart.

Evans filed a motion to quash the recall petition on Dec. 21 because the Virginia Supreme Court had ruled on March 1, 2018, in a different case that the signatures of 10 percent of the registered voters on a recall petition must be signed “under penalty of perjury” – and that had not been done in this case.

Evans announced last month that she will not seek re-election after her term is up at the end of 2019. Jessica Swanson is running for the Mason seat on the school board.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now that Mrs. Evans is retiring, wouldn't it make sense for the plaintiffs to withdraw their petition? - Sparky

Anonymous said...

Such evil political division in our County. If you are going to go after someone, do it for incompetence such as demonstrated by our current Mason Supervisor.

Concerned said...

The Court did NOT dismiss the removal petition. The headline is incorrect as is the assumption that the Court dismissed the removal petition. There was not a Court hearing on the removal of Sandra Sue Evans. Petitioners became aware of a March 1, 2018 Virginia Supreme Court decision on an earlier case that changed the substance of the Virginia Code for Removal of Elected Officials. Rather than have the petition quashed, the Petitioners filed a non-suit (withdrew the petition) prior to any material being presented to the court by Evans. Again, there was NO hearing on the issue. By filing a non-suit the Petitioners could file for removal again should the legislature address and clarify the code.

Anonymous said...

nothing needs clarification. the state supreme court clarified that such petitions need to be signed under penalty of perjury, as required under state law. start a new petition that meets the requirements or let it go.

Anonymous said...

So the petitioners only became of a March 1, 2018 Virginia Supreme Court decision that was directly relevant to the validity of their recall petition after they'd filed the petition on December 20, 2018? Either the filing of the petition last month was a publicity stunt, or the petitioners (and their legal counsel) aren't exactly the brightest bulbs in the shed. Oh well, at least JUSTICE is being served by the dismissal and withdrawal of these frivolous proceedings.

Anonymous said...

"Concerned" you must be one of the master historical revisionists (i.e. the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery; Fairfax County was some shining beacon of racial harmony in the late 1950s when the School Board named a school after a Civil War general, etc.) and now we see wonderful sophistry. Yes, you withdrew the recall petition but did so because you knew the Court would dismiss it just as EVERY court all the way to the VA Supreme Court did in your equally frivolous litigation challenging the name change. The Williams decision, rendered NINE months before you withdrew your absurd petition said that recalls have to be base on facts and those collecting and signing such recalls have to state under penalty of perjury that they understand those facts to be true. What a radical idea, fact based arguments, not sour grapes and innuendo. What's next for you guys? Maybe you can go after gay marriage? Mixed race marriage? Whatever it takes to take us back to the 1950s, right? And now you think the elected officials in the General Assembly are going to amend the law making it easier to recall elected officials? You've segued from revisionism to sophistry and now to being delusional.

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