Virginia Progressive Prosecutor Won't Prosecute Misdemeanors Including Hit-and-Runs

Democrat Buta Biberaj faces outcry from party allies over her incompetence

Buta Biberaj (Fox 5 DC, YouTube)
January 13, 2023

A progressive prosecutor in one of Virginia's largest counties says her office will no longer prosecute a number of misdemeanors, including reckless driving, petty theft, and hit-and-runs.

Loudoun County commonwealth's attorney Buta Biberaj (D.) announced on Thursday that starting next week, her office won't prosecute many low-level offenders, according to a memo obtained by Fox 5.

Biberaj says her office is "inundated" with cases and claims the change will allow her team to focus on more serious crimes. Local leaders aren’t buying it.

"I don't believe the issue is anything else but her ability to manage her office," Loudoun County Board of Supervisors chairwoman Phyllis Randall, a Democrat, told Fox 5, adding that she "absolutely will not" support Biberaj’s reelection bid this year. "If she was running unopposed, I wouldn't support her."

Board members and the county sheriff's office said they were blindsided by Biberaj's announcement.

Biberaj's office did not respond to a request for comment. The sheriff's office told the Washington Free Beacon that it was "disappointed" Biberaj hadn't warned it of the change and "that law enforcement officers will no longer have assistance from a prosecutor in many general district court cases."

The left-wing prosecutor does not have the best track record on the serious felony charges on which she claims to be focusing. Last year, a series of mistakes led to the release of two murder suspects within a matter of weeks. One is no longer facing charges; the other had to be hunted down later in Georgia.

The missteps have led former allies like Randall and fellow Democratic supervisor Kristen Umstattd to call for Biberaj's replacement, saying the commonwealth's attorney is "misleading the public." A county judge also kicked Biberaj off a case last year for playing fast and loose with evidence, writing in an order that Biberaj was "deliberately misleading the court and the public" to "sell" a plea deal.

Biberaj is one of three Northern Virginia prosecutors boosted into office by six-figure donations from George Soros. The liberal billionaire contributed nearly $1 million to her 2019 campaign. Along with Arlington County prosecutor Parisa Dehghani-Tafti (D.), Biberaj is facing a primary challenge for her incompetence.

Randall told Fox 5 that she hadn't heard Biberaj was ending misdemeanor prosecutions until she received "a picture of the memo" that was sent to the board on Thursday. In the memo, Biberaj admits her office has been unable to keep up with evidentiary burdens.

"As you may know, with the increase in the trials in Circuit Court and the introduction of body-worn camera and related recordings in each case, the [Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney] is inundated and left with insufficient time to prosecute every infraction and low-level offense that is charged," the memo states.

The board chairwoman also said Biberaj has struggled to retain prosecutors in her office, even though the county has increased funding to hire more attorneys.

Pursuant to Biberaj's memo, her office will not punish trespassing, some drug possession, and failures to appear in court.

Fairfax County commonwealth's attorney Steve Descano (D.), another Soros-backed prosecutor, back in 2020 similarly declined to prosecute many misdemeanors. He is also seeking reelection this fall amid widespread dissatisfaction over his mishandling of dangerous offenders.