Portsmouth Vice Mayor calls drama in city absurd and embarrassing

Posted at 7:03 PM, Jan 15, 2016

Portsmouth, Va. - A shocking story coming out of Hampton Roads is putting all eyes on the City of Portsmouth and the drama between city officials.

Mayor Kenny Wright is facing a felony eluding charge after being accused of taking Sheriff Bill Watson on a chase through Olde Towne.

Vice Mayor Elizabeth Psimas called the events that unfolded in her city absurd and embarrassing.

The sheriff said he was trying to pull the mayor over for an inspection sticker that expired seven months ago.

It is no secret that Mayor Kenny Wright and Sheriff Bill Watson don’t get along.

"He is a jerk. He's a total idiot and a jerk. He thinks he's a God," said Watson.

The mayor has not responded to the media about not stopping for the sheriff, but on Thursday his lawyer Michael Massie spoke to NewsChannel 3 and was critical of Sheriff Watson.

"I know that could've been handled much differently and I think any reasonable human being could've saw that,” said Massie.

"If these men don't stop fighting each other, nothing will never get anything done,” said Psimas.

Vice Mayor Psimas has had it with the drama. She said, "Everything has been completely sidetracked to monuments, to fines, to free-speech and an inspection sticker and things that don't really matter in the scheme of things."

She said they should be talking about the budget, education and public safety.

She said she finds it ironic that there were two recent rallies to protest violence and that Mayor Wright spoke publicly encouraging the community to work better with law enforcement.

"Then you fast-forward a week and he's telling the sheriff to go to go away. You can't do that. When an officer stops you, whether it's a sheriff or police officer with lights flashing and pulls you over, you stop and you comply," said Psimas.

NewsChannel 3 reached out to the entire city council.

As of Friday night, we only heard back from Councilman Danny Meeks, who calls the situation a "black eye" for Portsmouth.

"I think all of this drama has caused the citizenry to pay much more attention to the actual work that each member of council is doing and how they behave and I hope it'll be reflected in the ballot box in November," said Psimas.

According to the city's website, the next city council meeting is scheduled for January 26th, which gives everybody a few days to cool off.