Loudoun County Supervisor Kristen Umstattd accused the county’s Virginia commonwealth attorney of misusing her office for personal and political reasons.
The supervisor asked Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj to reimburse Loudoun County for using county property for personal pursuits.
Fox News further reported:
Loudoun County, Virginia, Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj, a liberal Democrat prosecutor who has benefited from campaign finance support from a George Soros-backed organization, is now under fire for allegedly misusing her office to target political opponents and local reporters, according to a county supervisor.
Elected officials are calling on the commonwealth’s attorney to reimburse the county for submitting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for communications between county supervisors and her current and former political rivals, WJLA reported. Biberaj used her official government email and title when filing the requests, the outlet reported.
“As two of the requests, at least, appear to be personal or political, and are not clearly related to your official duties as Commonwealth’s Attorney, or the duties of your office, I believe that you would have been better served to have used non-governmental resources to prepare and transmit your requests,” Loudoun County Supervisor Kristen Umstattd, a Democrat, told Biberaj in a recent letter, which was obtained by Fox News Digital. “I would request that you reimburse, from non-governmental funds, the County and Commonwealth for any County or State resources, including staff time, that you used in preparing and transmitting those personal/political requests from your government office.”
The FOIAs were filed to gather communications between county supervisors and Nicole Wittman, as well as Elizabeth Lancaster. Wittman ran against Biberaj for commonwealth attorney in 2019 and Lancaster is currently running against Biberaj in this year’s Democratic primary.
Umstattd added in comment to WJLA that one of the FOIA requests sought communication between the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and local reporters.
“She [Biberaj] was going after you, after Lindsay Watts, a reporter with Loudoun Now and a reporter who covers schools for the Loudoun Times Mirror,” Umstattd told the outlet. “So, I don’t know what her thinking was in going after a school’s reporter in this particular FOIA request. Lindsay Watts had been a thorn in her side, you have been a thorn in her side. The other reporter for Loudoun Now, I’m not so sure about, but she seems to be looking for any communications between members of the board [of Supervisors] and that group of reporters.”
Umstattd said Biberaj used her official government email and official government title in four FOIAs filed.
“In all four she used her official email address and her official title – two of the four seem to be personal and or political – and those should have been filed from her as a private citizen. She may have realized that she needed to do something to correct that because she apparently spoke with staff and said she wanted them filed as a private citizen. But the problem is, she used government resources,” Umstattd said.
“I certainly would say it appears to be misuse of government property,” Umstattd continued in comment to WJLA.
When asked by a reporter Monday why Biberaj was requesting communications between county supervisors and her political opponents, the commonwealth’s attorney said “It’s FOIA for the truth.”
“There have been leaks coming from the board of supervisors for the last three years,” Biberaj added, according to WJLA.
Biberaj has lost the support of at least three Democratic supervisors in the county, including Chair Phyllis Randall, Mike Turner and Umstattd, WJLA reported.
Concerns over the FOIAs come as Biberaj, who received more than $800,000 from the George Soros-funded Justice and Public Safety PAC in her 2019 election, officially announced her intention to run for re-election on Monday.
“I ran for office to bring much-needed change to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office with a fairer approach to justice that focused our resources on protecting victims of violent crimes and investing in treatment alternatives to reduce recidivism.” Biberaj said in a press statement, according to WUSA 9. “I’m proud that our work is delivering results for the people of Loudoun County – and I’m honored to announce my campaign for re-election.”
At a press conference Monday regarding her reelection campaign, a WJLA reporter asked Biberaj if she violated a Virginia statute that outlines it’s a class-4 felony when a full-time government employee uses public assets for personal purposes.
“Great, and you know what the problem with statutes: When you don’t have the evidence, it’s not a crime,” Biberaj responded when a reporter read her the statue and asked if she would reimburse the county. “There have been no violations of law that have been caused here.”
Biberaj’s office has repeatedly come under fire since she started the job in 2020, including being hit with a bar complaint last year after a circuit court judge booted her office from a criminal case for “deliberately misleading the Court and the public,” and for hiring a convicted sex offender as a paralegal.
Biberaj’s office did not respond to Fox News Digital’s repeated requests for comment on concerns over the FOIAs.
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