Former Portsmouth Chief of Police Angela Greene filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the City of Portsmouth Friday.
The lawsuit lists the city, former City Manager Lydia Pettis Patton and Acting City Manager Lavoris Pace, as well as City Council Member Lisa Lucas-Burke, State Senator L. Louise Lucas and Milton R. Blount, as defendants.
In a statement, Greene's attorneys said that she is seeking damages for her termination as well as being "professionally and personally" defamed.
Greene was initially put on administrative leave in September 2020, a few weeks after she announced that Sen. Lucas, NAACP members, school board members and public defenders had felony warrants issued in relation to their participation in a June 10 Confederate monument protest where a man was severely injured.
She was fired in November 2020. During a press conference following her firing, she said she had never had any issues on the job or questioning of her performance until the Confederate monument "issue."
Greene has since been tapped to head the Lexington Police Department.
News 3 reached out to the City of Portsmouth, which said it does not have a comment at this time.
Portsmouth Fraternal Order of Police Gosport Lodge Nº20 released a statement saying they support Greene's decision to file the lawsuit. The group's full statement can be read below:
The Fraternal Order of Police Gosport Lodge Nº20 wishes to voice their support of Chief Greene and the filing of a lawsuit this morning against the City of Portsmouth and several of its most prominent leaders. As law enforcement we swear an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia. This is not only what Chief Angela Greene did during her tenure with the Portsmouth Police Department, but she also held every officer, under her leadership, to that same standard. She demanded nothing less than this from her officers than to uphold their oath while being fair and unbiased while conducting thorough investigations, no matter who the parties involved were. Unfortunately, the City of Portsmouth, and its executive leadership, have continued the trend of leading with emotion and trendy words that lack much substance, if any at all. This type of leadership, as it has done in times past, have led to yet another lawsuit that will result in the City of Portsmouth being held accountable, once again, for their poor leadership decisions.
Our citizens should know that lawsuits resulting from their city leaderships poor, and openly outrageous decisions, only damage our city further. Just as Chief Greene filing criminal charges for those that participated in criminal activity which led to her suspension and ultimate firing, this lawsuit is necessary and a product of our city leadership knowingly making decisions that will result in a lawsuit. Unfortunately, because our city leadership continues to make these poor decisions this only takes away from other important matters such as funding youth programs, funding the highly needed pay decompression of what minimal police staffing the city does have left, and makes even more difficult the ability to recruit and hire more officers to a city that is publicly showing just how dysfunctional it is at the moment.
The Fraternal Order of Police will stand the line diligently in support of Chief Greene and her lawsuit while being blatantly clear that City Leadership should start putting its citizens and staff first when making their decisions for all of us. A failure to do so will only lead to more lawsuits, the loss of more and more law enforcement officers, and citizens left with nothing more than high taxes and no programs or infrastructure in the very city they pay those taxes to. Lexington Virginia has selected the best leader, and more importantly a cop’s cop, as their selection for Chief of Police for their department. Her incredible integrity and character will continue to be displayed while the City of Portsmouth once again pays for a lawsuit, they knew would come before they even fired Chief Greene, along with the City Attorney Solomon Ashby. That in and of itself shows how important it is, more than ever, that the citizens of this great city voice their concerns and start holding their city leadership accountable for these poor decisions based on their own personal agenda and not the betterment of this city and its citizens. Anything short of this will only empower them further to continue their trend of incompetent and poor decision making. We must do better, and for that to happen we must demand better.