Petition to remove (recall) Chairman at-large Ryan Sawyers pursuant to Va. Code § 24.2-233
On multiple occasions, Prince William County School Board Chairman-at- Large Ryan Sawyers misused his public office, in violation of Virginia Code section 24.2-233, by attempting to take, and taking, official actions for a private or personal purpose.
Ryan Sawyers was elected Chairman-at- Large of the Prince William County School Board on November 3, 2015.
Prior to Chairman-at- Large Sawyers’ election, he was engaged in an ongoing dispute with Dr. Michael Bishop, principal of the Patriot High School.
After Sawyers’ assumed office, he misused his office by, among other things, attempting to engineer the illegal termination of Dr. Bishop’s employment contract.
On June 6, 2016, the Prince William County School Board used non-public “polling,” to withdraw an employment contract from Dr. Bishop in violation of Va. Code § 2.2-3707. Sawyer’s involvement in this “polling” process constitutes a misuse of his office. Dr. Bishop’s contract was later reinstated.
As part of the Dispute with Dr. Bishop, Sawyers misused his office by discriminating against and targeting for retribution specific Associate Superintendents of the Prince William County School District who were not supportive of his efforts to remove Dr. Bishop’s employment contract.
Finally, Sawyers misused his office by executing a campaign from the School Board’s dais to change the School District’s sports field assignment policy to benefit a private organization with which he is affiliated.
These misuses of office have had a materially adverse affect on the conduct of the office of School Board Chairman-at- Large resulting in justifiable mistrust between Prince William County citizens and the School Board, between Prince William County employees and the School Board and between the individual members of the School Board and Chairman-at- Large Sawyers.
Because of the reasons outlined above, the undersigned seek to recall Prince William County School Board Chairman-at- Large Ryan Sawyers for misuse of office in violation of Virginia Code section 24.2-233.
The undersigned also respectfully request that the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Prince William County recuse himself from participating in this case, to avoid even the perception of a conflict of interest due to the party affiliation and campaign finance history of both the School Board Chairman-at- Large and Commonwealth’s Attorney.