Loudoun County Public Schools

Ousted Loudoun County (Va.) superintendent indicted

Dec. 13, 2022
Special grand jury brings charges against Scott Ziegler, who was fired last week after a scathing report from the grand jury.

The recently ousted superintendent of the Loudoun County (Va.) district has been indicted by a grand jury investigating how the school system handled sexual assaults.

The Washington Post reports that Scott Ziegler is facing misdemeanor counts of false publication, using his position to retaliate or threaten to retaliate against an employee and falsely firing the same employee.

In addition, district spokesman Wayde Byard has been charged with one count of felony perjury.

Ziegler was fired last week after the grand jury issued a damning report about the district's handling of two sexual assaults. Byard has been placed on leave.

Ziegler vowed to fight the charges against him.

“I am disappointed that an Attorney General-controlled, secret, and one-sided process — which never once sought my testimony — has made such false and irresponsible accusations,” Ziegler said in a statement to the Washington Post. “I will vigorously defend myself. I look forward to a time when the truth becomes public.”

The 91-page grand jury report labeled Loudoun officials incompetent and called the ex-superintendent a liar. The jury investigated a pair of sexual assaults committed by a male student in May and October 2021 at Stone Bridge and Broad Run high schools. The second assault occurred after the student was transferred to the new high school.

Two of the indictments against Ziegler refer to incidents separate from the two sexual assaults. Those indictments accuse the ex-superintendent of unlawfully firing — and using “his public position to retaliate” against — a former special education teacher in the district, Erin Brooks.

Brooks sued the school district in June, contending that, in February 2022, a special education student began “grabbing her breasts, buttocks, and pubic area dozens of times each day” — but that school officials “did nothing to stop the assaults from occurring.” Brooks later filed two Title IX complaints about the student’s behavior. Afterward, the school district opted not to renew her contract.

Brooks contends that the decision not to reemploy her amounted to retaliation for reporting the assaults.

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