Virginia’s attorney general’s office on Wednesday dropped the remaining charge against a former Loudoun County school superintendent stemming from an investigation into the school district’s handling of two sexual assaults, according to WTOP, a Washington, D.C., media outlet.
Scott Ziegler, who had previously been convicted of illegally firing a teacher in retaliation for her testifying before a grand jury, had faced a charge of falsely publishing, WTOP reported. Ziegler had allegedly lied when he claimed the school had no knowledge of sexual assaults by a “gender fluid” student during a June 22, 2021, meeting of the Loudoun County School Board.
On Oct. 7, 2001, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office issued a release stating that a student had been arrested for carrying out an assault in a bathroom at Broad Run High School on Oct. 6. A second release, dated Oct. 13, acknowledged that the alleged perpetrator was also accused of a May 28 assault at Stone Bridge High School.
Scott Smith, whose daughter was one of the students sexually assaulted, was arrested during a raucous June 22, 2021, school board meeting after the board abruptly ended public comments and was charged by then-Loudoun County Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj with disorderly conduct. Biberaj was defeated by Republican Bob Anderson in November, two months after Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin of Virginia pardoned Smith in September.
Youngkin won the 2021 gubernatorial election in Virginia while campaigning on the issue of parental involvement in education, an issue that gained prominence after members of the Loudoun County School Board were reportedly involved in a secret Facebook group that targeted parents opposed to the use of critical race theory in the system’s curriculum, the use of pornographic books in classes and the accusations that the school system covered up the sexual assaults.
“The Commonwealth is satisfied that justice has been done in the Defendant’s cases,” special assistant to the attorney general Brandon T. Wrobleski said in a Wednesday court filing.
Harold Hutchison on December 23, 2023