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Posted on: September 19, 2023

Town Rebuts False Statements from CFFC

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Town of Warrenton Rebuts False Statements from CFFC’s Latest Press Release

For Immediate Release: September 18, 2023



WARRENTON – Citizens for Fauquier County (CFFC) issued a press release dated September 11, 2023, that contains false statements accusing the Town of wrongdoing. CFFC knows, or should know, that these statements are false. The Town provides the following information to correct the public record.

In response to a 2022 request from CFFC for all correspondence between Town employees and former Town Manager Brandie Schaeffer for a specified time period, the Town withheld Ms. Schaeffer’s emails as permitted under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA). CFFC’s September 11, 2023, press release falsely states that the Town has violated VFOIA and was “undermining the public interest.” In fact, the Town Council voted on February 15, 2023, to allow Town Council members to review the exempted emails, and in the nearly seven months since then no Councilmember has raised an issue about anything in the documents that was contrary to the public interest.

The number of emails concerning Amazon is much smaller than CFFC claims. CFFC’s September 11, 2023, press release falsely states that the Town is withholding “thousands of records relating to the Amazon Data Services’ data center.” As CFFC knows or should know, only 13 of the withheld emails are in relation to Amazon. 

The Town successfully defended its position in court, providing documents to the judge for review – as is the common and accepted practice in VFOIA cases. CFFC’s September 11, 2023, press release falsely states that the Town failed to meet its burden of proving that it properly withheld the emails. As the court transcript reveals, CFFC refused the Town’s offer to narrow the scope of documents to be reviewed, leaving it to the judge either to review thousands of emails or come up with a method for reviewing a representative portion of them.

Nor does it appear that CFFC understands how VFOIA protects certain information in site development plans that developers are required to submit to local governments. CFFC’s September 11, 2023, press release falsely claims that the redaction of 45 pages of Amazon’s Site Development Plan for the data center is “unprecedented,” but in fact the practice is widespread. VFOIA exempts “Information that describes the design, function, operation, or access control features of any security system, whether manual or automated, which is used to control access to or use of any automated data processing or telecommunications system,” as well as “engineering, architectural, or construction drawings” related to “the location or operation of security equipment and systems.”

Any citizen with questions is invited to contact Lyndie Paul at

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