LEESBURG, Va. (WRIC) — The former superintendent and public information officer for Loudoun County Public Schools have been indicted on a total of four counts related to the school division’s response to two sexual assaults committed by a student.
Ex-superintendent Scott Ziegler, who was abruptly fired by the school board after the release of a damning report by a special grand jury, has been charged with three misdemeanors: false publication, prohibited conduct and penalizing an employee for a court appearance.
Wayde Byard, a public information officer who was still employed with the school division following Ziegler’s firing, has been charged with a single count of felony perjury.
While the grand jury’s report appeared to exonerate members of the school board, finding that there was “no coordinated coverup” and that they too were left in the dark by school administrators. That contradicts an earlier statement by Attorney General Jason Miyares, who initiated the special grand jury’s investigation, that Loudoun County Public Schools “covered up a sexual assault on school grounds for political gain.”
Nevertheless, Miyares claimed the school board failed to serve a safeguarding role over school administration.
“It is apparent that the Loudoun County School Board failed to provide proper oversight, accountability and transparency on the superintendent and their staff precisely at a time when the victims needed them the most,” Miyares said.
The indictments were actually filed by the grand jury over the course of several months, with the first filed on June 14 and the final indictments filed on September 28. However, the indictments were only unsealed after the special grand jury issued its report, which can be read in its entirety below.