Good news from Fairfax County School Board member Laura Jane Cohen:
Laura Jane Cohen Statement on Dismissal of Recall Petition
BURKE, VIRGINIA – Fairfax County School Board Member Laura Jane Cohen (Springfield District) said today’s court order dismissing the legal challenge to remove her from office confirmed that the entire case was no more than a political campaign without any legal support.
“This dismissal is long overdue,” Cohen said. “In fact, it was a case that never should have been filed in the first place. Elected officials cannot be recalled because of differences of opinion. We have elections to decide who should represent us on school boards. There was never any legal basis for this recall petition. It was all politics driven by massive dark money contributions and even paid signature gathering.”
A Fairfax Circuit judge dismissed the petition at the request of a court-appointed special prosecutor, an elected Republican, who said the petition was “not based on facts sufficient to show probable cause for removal.”
The removal petition was filed in December 2021 in Fairfax Circuit Court and was essentially identical to one seeking to unseat another Board member that was summarily dismissed in August 2021.
In that case against Board member Eileen Tholen, a Fairfax Circuit judge dismissed the case after a special prosecutor said he had investigated the allegations in the petition and that none of them could be substantiated.
“I ran for the Springfield District seat on the School Board because I believed we needed strong representation who would show up for our students, families, and staff,” Cohen said. “I still believe that, and I’m proud of the job we’ve done under unprecedented challenges to the health and safety of our students.”
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- COURT DISMISSED IDENTICAL RECALL EFFORT: In August, a Judge dismissed an identical recall effort targeting Fairfax County School Board Member Elaine Tholen (Dranesville) after the assigned prosecutor said the petition was insufficient to support removal because it did not contain factual allegations that met any legal standard.
- FUNDED BY OUT-OF-STATE DARK MONEY: The recall effort is funded mostly by an
out-of-state Republican dark money group in the form of multiple five-figure contributions – a former Republican gubernatorial candidate also contributed $15,000. These contributions represent nearly 90 percent of the $92,313 the group has raised.