Transparency News, 7/22/2022


July 22, 2022

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state & local news stories

The head of the Norfolk Public School Board says citizens’ comments will be limited to agenda items only for the July and August meetings. Previously, the board has heard from the public on both agenda and non-agenda items during the comment period. However, Wednesday’s business meeting only allowed for comments related to the agenda. Interim Board Chair Carlos Clanton said that he, interim Vice Chair Noelle Gabriel and Superintendent Sharon Byrdsong make decisions regarding the agenda according to policy. He added that the agenda for Wednesday was written that way “in the interest of making sure we can keep ‘the main thing’ the main thing.”
The Virginian-Pilot

A lawsuit alleging the Albemarle County schools superintendent defamed a former employee is no more. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit with prejudice last week after both parties involved agreed to the dismissal. The order came after a confidential settlement conference last month. Court records include no details about the terms of a settlement or if one was reached. The lawsuit was filed in October 2018 by Ira Socol, the former chief technology and innovation officer for the school division. Socol was fired in August 2018 for purchasing furniture in violation of the county’s purchasing and procurement policies. He has denied any wrongdoing and sued the Albemarle county School Board and schools superintendent Matthew Haas for a denial of due process, breach of contract and defamation.
The Daily Progress

Amidst an ongoing effort to recall him from office, Prince William County Supervisor Pete Candland is now facing a federal lawsuit filed by a constituent who alleges Candland violated his rights to free speech by temporarily hiding a comment he left on Candland’s official Facebook page. Patrick Harders, of Gainesville, filed a federal lawsuit on July 15, alleging Candland deleted or hid comments Harder made in response to a post Candland made about his July 1 Patriots Day celebration at Catharpin Park. Since Candland is an elected official, and the page is used for “back and forth communications” with the public, the lawsuit argues that removing the comments violated Harders’ federal and state rights to free speech.
Prince William Times