A court has dismissed Senator Louise Lucas’ (D-Portsmouth) defamation lawsuit against Tim Anderson, GOP candidate for the 83rd House of Delegates district. Lucas had sought $20 million in damages alleging that Anderson had falsely said that Lucas caused citizens to pull down the Portsmouth Confederate monument in June 2020.
In a Facebook statement Wednesday, Anderson said, “An elected official suing a citizen who is sharply criticizing the officials actions is not a cause of action for Defamation under Virginia law. Today the Court agreed.” Read More
Chesapeake Circuit Court Judge John Brown dismissed a petition to recall Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) on Friday. Conservatives in her district had obtained about 8,000 signatures to remove Lucas, alleging misuse of office, but the court sided with Lucas’ legal team who argued that Virginia senators can only be recalled by a two-thirds vote in the Senate. Separate provisions in the Code of Virginia and the Virginia Constitution detail processes for removing elected officials, but the Lucas team argued that only the constitutional provision applies to state legislators, and that therefore the court did not have jurisdiction, according to The Virginian-Pilot. Read More
After nearly a year of collecting signatures, Virginia Tea Party members turned in a petition to recall Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth). The petition alleges “Misuse of Office” as the reason for removal, and the grassroots group’s President Nelson Velez said it’s been signed by approximately 8,000 people – nearly double the number statutorily required.
On June 10, 2020 a protest erupted at the Portsmouth Confederate monument. A man was seriously injured when part of the monument fell down, and local police filed charges against Lucas for “conspiracy to commit a felony” and “felony injuring to a monument in excess of $1,000.” Read More
Former Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene is suing the City of Portsmouth and Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth), along with several other civic leaders and current and former city officials. Former City Manager Lydia Pettis-Patton placed Greene on leave in the wake of a June protest at the Portsmouth monument that led to Greene’s department filing felony charges, later dropped, against Lucas. Greene was finally terminated in November. Her lawsuit bundles multiple complaints against multiple figures. Read More
Angela Greene says she was fired for upholding the law. The former Portsmouth Police Chief was placed on administrative leave after her department announced felony charges against Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) and others alleged to have been involved in damaging the city’s Confederate monument in June. The charges were dropped on November 16, the same day Greene was fired. Read More
Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson hosted Portsmouth’s ousted Police Chief Angela Greene on his show Wednesday night to discuss recent events in Portsmouth. Greene’s department issued charges against Senator Louise Lucas and others after Portsmouth’s Confederate monument was damaged in a June protest. On Monday, Greene was fired and the charges were dismissed. Read More
The City of Portsmouth District Court dismissed the felony charges against Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) and the others charged with damaging the city’s Confederate monument in June, according to The Virginian-Pilot. The Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office asked the court to dismiss the charges, arguing that by not intervening in the vandalism, officers “either explicitly or implicitly misled [the defendants] to believe that such conduct was lawful.” Read More
In addition to Richmond and Virginia Beach, the cities of Roanoke, Suffolk, and Portsmouth all held mayoral elections on Tuesday. In Suffolk, Councilmember Michael Duman has a solid lead in unofficial results; in Roanoke, incumbent Democrat Sherman Lea has declared victory; and in Portsmouth, Councilmember Shannon Glover has won, according to data from the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP). Read More
Once again, campaign signs are the innocent victims of pre-election stress and anger. From Giles County to Chincoteague, signs for both Republican and Democratic candidates are being stolen or vandalized. Read More
Eight churches in Bristol, Virginia are fighting against a proposed $400 million Hard Rock casino; residents will vote on the referendum this November. The coalition cites studies claiming that casinos prey on gambling addicts and questions whether a casino would draw high numbers of tourists as claimed by supporters of the referendum. Proponents say the casino would bring Bristol $15-$20 million a year in taxes and over 2,000 jobs averaging salaries of $46,500. Read More
A judge rejected a subpoena calling Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales to testify in the Lucas case Monday. As a result, the case goes to Morales’ office and she will take the lead on the prosecution. Lucas and 18 others charged by the Portsmouth Police Department (PPD) will have their next hearing on November 19.
Judge Claire Cardwell ruled that the Portsmouth Police can not call Morales as a witness; some of Lucas’ supporters viewed the subpoena as an attempt to keep Morales out of the prosecution. In a statement, Morales’ lawyer said, “The judge said that the police department is to transmit its investigative file to Ms. Morales. Ms. Morales will prosecute all of the matters under her constitutional authority as the elected Commonwealth’s Attorney.” Read More
The Portsmouth Magistrate has again rebuffed Portsmouth NAACP leaders in attempts to file charges against Portsmouth council members Bill Moody and Elizabeth Psimas. NAACP branch President James Boyd and Vice President Louie Gibbs went to the magistrate on Friday to present emails that they said showed Moody and Psimas committing a misdemeanor violation of the city charter. Read More
As Portsmouth is divided among its city leadership, Senator Louise Lucas, and the police chief who announced felony charges against Lucas, the Portsmouth Tea Party is supporting Police Chief Angela Greene with a series of meetings and protests. In their latest rally Sunday, over 100 people met in front of the Portsmouth City Hall, using constitution-based arguments to call for Greene to be re-instated and for Lucas to be removed. Read More
Senator Louise Lucas has filed to have felony charges against her dismissed; the charges are linked to a June 10 protest at the Portsmouth Confederate monument. Lucas’ motion calls the charges an “illegal and unsanctioned police action.” Read More
Portsmouth City Manager Lydia Pettis-Patton resigned Tuesday, one business day after she placed Police Chief Angela Greene on leave, and four months before she was scheduled to retire. That afternoon, in a special meeting, the Portsmouth City Council confirmed Pettis-Patton’s resignation and voted to fire City Attorney Solomon Ashby. Read More
Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene is on administrative leave “effective immediately and until further notice,” according to an email sent on Friday by City Manager Lydia Pettis-Patton, The Virginian-Pilot reported. Assistant Chief Scott Burke is now leading the department. Read More
Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth) appeared alongside former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D), Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, and U.S. Congressman Bobby Scott (D-Newport News) at a rally of over 100 people outside a Portsmouth church on Tuesday, according to reporting by The Associated Press. The rally came after police charged five more people in relation to a June 10 protest. Read More
Monuments dominate Virginia’s headlines this week.
On Wednesday, Portsmouth City began removing its controversial Confederate monument. Last week, an anonymous plaintiff petitioned the Virginia Supreme Court to order confederate statues removed by the city of Richmond to go back up. The Richmond Circuit Court has scheduled a trial for October 19 to begin determining whether Richmond’s Robert E. Lee statue can be removed. Read More
Portsmouth deputies served two misdemeanor charges against Portsmouth Vice-Mayor Lisa Lucas-Burke in her office on Monday, according to reporting by WAVY.com.
The charges were filed at the Portsmouth Magistrate by resident Thomas Dubois. The charges are based on Portsmouth City Charter § 3.11, which states that city appointments and terminations must be handled through the city manager, and that violation is a class three misdemeanor. Read More