Transparency News, 1/3/2022


January 3, 2022


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state & local news stories
The Board of Elections this week completed the certification of signatures on the removal petitions against Loudoun School Board Chairwoman Brenda Sheridan (Sterling) and Vice Chairwoman Atoosa Reaser (Algonkian), allowing the effort to advance in Circuit Court. The petition to remove Reaser amassed 1,783 valid signatures, while the petition to remove Sheridan collected 1,158 valid signatures. Signatures are only valid if they belong to a registered voter in the official’s district. The removal effort is spearheaded by the group Fight for Schools, which launched the campaign last spring to combat board members’ progressive social justice policies and their involvement in the private Facebook group Anti-Racist Parents of Loudoun County, a violation of public meetings laws, the group alleges.
Loudoun Now

Halifax County Board of Supervisors plan to discuss the process of appointing a new person to the tiebreaker position on the board and funding for school facilities when they meet Monday at their reorganization meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the Mary Bethune Office Complex. The tiebreaker seat is currently vacant following the election of previous tiebreaker Larry Roller to serve as the ED-2 representative. Supervisors now must consider the process to fill the position by appointment as well as the timeframe of the special election.
The Gazette-Virginian

stories from around the country

An attorney representing Grand Traverse County Commissioner Ron Clous contends that when Clous was asked to state his position on the far-right Proud Boys group, he did. Clous stood up from his seat at the livestreamed county board meeting he attended from home on Jan. 20, grabbed a semi-automatic rifle, sat back down and held the weapon across his chest for a few seconds. Clous’ attorney, Andrew J. Brege, asserts that Clous had a right to exercise his First Amendment rights, according to a transcript of a recent federal court hearing obtained by the Record-Eagle. A lawsuit filed by Patricia “Keli” MacIntosh claims that Clous’ actions violated her free speech rights, coming as they did while she gave public comment asking the county board to denounce the Proud Boys. She seeks punitive damages of an unspecified amount, as well as attorney fees, court costs and expenses.
Traverse City Record Eagle

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has temporarily blocked the Inglewood Police Department from destroying records just ahead of a new transparency law that is set to go into effect Jan. 1 in California. The ruling comes three years after the city was thrown into controversy over its handling of law enforcement documents. In late 2018, the city of Inglewood destroyed hundreds of police records in the weeks before Senate Bill 1421 went into effect. The law expanded public access to police use-of-force, misconduct and disciplinary records for departments across the state. Critics argued Inglewood sought to destroy years of investigative records involving police dating to 1991 just ahead of the new law, a claim city leaders rejected.
Los Angeles Times