The sheriff’s office opened an investigation into private Facebook group “Loudoun Love Warriors” after a citizen made a complaint. Threatening messages were allegedly shared in a group chat on the Facebook page.
The sheriff’s office said in a statement that a previous investigation of the group concluded no criminal act had occurred.
According to ABC 7 News, the group allegedly targeted Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R-VA), Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears (R-VA), Attorney General Jason Miyares (R-VA), several Loudoun residents, and a church.
The Facebook group is well connected , with members sharing ties with Commonwealth’s Attorney Buta Biberaj, County Supervisor Juli Briskman, county board member Phyllis Randall, and school board members Ian Serotkin, Brenda Sheridan, Atoosa Reaser, and Erika Ogedegbe.
No elected official made threats, but the members of their staff allegedly did. Ogedegbe was a member of the group but says she unsubscribed after her election to the school board.
The group is also connected to several candidates running for various seats in the county, including sheriff candidate Craig Buckley and school board candidate Anne Donohue.
Loudoun County resident Mark Winn was allegedly a target of the group after speaking at a school board meeting in December 2022. According to a whistleblower report, a Biberaj staffer allegedly wanted to contact Winn’s employer to get him fired and “ruin his livelihood,” adding, “Wish I had footage of every person who clapped for him and give them the same ousting that Winn is about to.”
“I want every single person who clapped for that ousted en masse and their livelihoods ruined:),” the staffer said, according to ABC 7 News.
Earle-Sears spoke out about the group, and its connections to elected officials, calling on Loudoun County leaders to speak out against the threats.
“There’s nothing but hate in that group,” she told ABC 7 News. “If the reports are true, and I don’t react to it as lieutenant governor, I react to it as a normal, sane human being, when you hear what this group is trying to do, they’re trying to destroy lives.”
“They’re going to make sure you definitely have loss of employment, you will possibly lose your life because … they’re also possibly going to shoot you,” Earle-Sears continued.
The Old Dominion Republican added that instead of having elected officials listen to their constituents, “They’re being hunted down by their very own staffers.”
After Earle-Sears called on the officials to condemn violence, some did, including Biberaj, Randall, Buckley, Reaser, Serotkin, and Donohue. Briskman declined to comment, telling ABC 7 News, “I will not be commenting for your story.
“Parents have the right to speak up when they’re concerned about their child’s education. And they shouldn’t face physical threats or threats to their livelihood for doing so,” Parents Defending Education investigative fellow Alex Nester told the Washington Examiner . “Loudoun County public officials — whose salaries are paid by taxpayer dollars — have repeatedly failed parents and the public.”
Loudoun County has been the epicenter of the nation’s public education battles since early 2021. The district mishandled a case of rape and sexual assault by a male student who identified as female, prompting Miyares to launch a special grand jury investigation after his election.
That investigation led to the firing of former Superintendent Scott Ziegler, who is accused of knowing about the assaults but lying about them while having the father of the victim, Scott Smith, arrested for speaking out at a board meeting. The district now faces a civil rights lawsuit .
“Let’s not forget when former Superintendent Scott Ziegler lied about his knowledge of sexual assaults in school,” Nester continued. “Let’s not forget when Loudoun County School Board Members partook in a doxxing campaign against parents. There’s no way around it: These people think they know best how to raise your kids. You shouldn’t get a say. And if you speak up, they will come after you.”
Youngkin is set to address the violent threats on ABC 7 News at 6 p.m. EDT Thursday.