Portsmouth City Manager blindsided by decisions made in Confederate monument case

Portsmouth Confederate monument.jpg
Posted at 10:24 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-19 22:54:16-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Portsmouth City Manager says no decisions on the Portsmouth Confederate monument case or any other matters related to the investigation were brought to her attention before felony warrants were issued on Monday.

On Monday Police Chief Angela Greene announced that Portsmouth Sen. Louise Lucas, NAACP members, school board members and public defenders were among several felony warrants issued in relation to the Confederate monument protest where a man was severely injured. This happened after part of a statue fell on him as protesters tried to remove it.

City Manager Dr. L. Pettis Patton, addressed her concerns regarding the investigation to city officials through an email obtained by News 3.

In Dr. Patton's email, she states that Chief Angela Greene reported a conflict on interest regarding the incident on June 10. She says she was informed by the City Attorney Solomon H. Ashby Jr. that he briefed the members of City Council on the matter and Chief Greene's declaration of conflict.

In regards to the investigation, Patton says the following:

When a city official acknowledges a Conflict of Interest, by law, they must cease all activities on the matter. Otherwise, their participation will likely comprise the city's interest. After learning of Chief Greene's acknowledgment of conflict, it was my clear understanding that the city's Police Department under her leadership would end all involvement in this matter. I was surprised and troubled when I was informed that despite acknowledging a Conflict of Interest, Chief Greene and members of the Police Department continued to be engaged without my knowledge. Proper protocol would dictate that I would have been advised along with the City Attorney of a matter of such significance. I was made aware by Chief Greene while the city’s Police Officers were swearing out warrants in the Magistrate’s Office.

Patton says she wants to make the record clear that she was not made aware of any decisions made during the investigation before the announcement on Monday.

Related: 'There's no true conflict of interest:' Portsmouth prosecutor concerned she'll be taken off monument protest case