Norfolk City Council officially asks Anthony Burfoot to step down

Posted at 11:38 PM, Dec 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-14 17:09:04-05

NORFOLK, Va. - The Norfolk City Council officially asked the City Treasurer to step down by Thursday.

But it doesn’t look like Anthony Burfoot has any plans to step aside.

A resolution passed unanimously Tuesday night during the city council meeting.

Council wants Burfoot gone but at this point it’s just a request.

On Wednesday the Director of Corporate Communications for Norfolk said the Department of Finance is insuring that all checks will be approved and signed by the Director of Finance, not Burfoot.

Mayor Kenny Alexander explained their position during the meeting and said, “This has been a taxing experience for the citizens of Norfolk but our city is resilient and our city council remains dedicated to restoring public trust and pursuing transparency and working in the best interest of all of our residents.”

However, Alexander refused to speak to the media after the meeting and left the council chambers immediately.

When asked about the resolution Councilman Paul Riddick said, “I think the city did the responsible thing.”

City council held a closed door session which started at 5 p.m. and their regular meeting at 7 p.m.

When News 3 asked Riddick what was discussed in the closed door session he fired back in anger and said, “Why do you think it was in close session because we don't want you to know.”

Another councilman said the closed door session was about Burfoot.

Councilman Tommy Smigiel said, “I think it really sends a message to the public that we’re serious about this. We want to make sure we have the trust but once again we’re so limited in what we can do as a council.”

Under the resolution that passed states “City Council directs the City Manager to take all actions necessary to secure the City’s financial assets, including but not limited to all city taxes, levies, assessments, rents, fees and all other revenues accruing to the city.”

City officials explained they are trying to protect the financial integrity and control the city’s banking system.

Meanwhile – Burfoot’s attorney said he will not resign.

“The jury has rendered a verdict and the process is not over yet there's a lot ahead of us. There's no reason for him to resign at this time. He's not going to abandon the job that he was elected to do and is continue to do faithfully.”

Sacks said Burfoot wants a fair opportunity to appeal his case.

Under Virginia law Burfoot is allowed to remain in office until all appeals are exhausted.

Burfoot is supposed to be sentenced in April for his perjury and political corruption charges.

There is also a recall hearing January 7 and the judge in that case has the right to suspend Burfoot.