Fairfax County’s board of elections announced Friday it had fired the head of the county’s elections office. With less than two weeks before primary elections, it appears to create potential for disruption in Virginia’s largest county elections office.
In a statement, the county said Cameron Sasnett, the county’s general registrar, was relieved of his duties after the three-member board met Friday. The statement gave no explanation.
Reached by phone, Steve Hunt, the board’s chairman, said only that the board “lost confidence” in Sasnett and that he would have had a “detrimental effect” on the June 12 primary elections.
“The last thing in the world the board wants to do is fire their GR, especially less than two weeks before an election,” Hunt said. “But, his effects on the elections at this point were detrimental enough that we needed to act.”
Sasnett, who was appointed in 2015, said he was experiencing “personality differences” with some board members over a host of problems, including complaints he made about his $110,000 annual salary and a discrimination complaint he filed last year that alleged he had been mistreated for being gay. That complaint, filed with a county human rights office, was quickly dismissed, Sasnett said.
Sasnett also said the board of elections had falsely accused him of misusing a county credit card.
“There was no mismanagement of the credit card and I have proven that,” Sasnett said, adding that he intends to fight his termination in court. “This was apparently something they had in the works for awhile.”
The termination comes as Fairfax’s elections office gears up for the primaries in a county with 700,000 registered voters and 243 precincts. It also occurred nearly three years after Sasnett’s predecessor, Cameron Quinn, stepped down amid complaints over her management style.
County officials said Gary Scott, a deputy registrar with 22 years of experience, will take over as general registrar until a permanent replacement for Sasnett is found.