Portsmouth community protests at City Hall after city manager resigns

Commodore Theater PT protest (September 8).jpg
Posted at 3:20 PM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 23:51:16-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Members of the Portsmouth community hosted a protest after City Manager Dr. Lydia Pettis Patton submitted her resignation effective immediately.

The started at 5 p.m. The group marched from City Hall to the Commodore Theatre on High Street in response to the recent events that have occurred in the City of Portsmouth, including the controversy surrounding Police Chief Angela Greene.

“Chief Greene should’ve never been the chief to begin with," said community activist Marquis Hunt.

Others felt differently. Another group gathered inside the theatre, rallying around Chief Greene and calling for her to be reinstated.

Greene is currently on administrative leave following the Confederate monument events, but she isn't the only one out of her position.

On Tuesday morning, Dr. Patton sent an email to Portsmouth City Council, stating:

"Through prayer and reflection, I have decided that in the best interest of the City of Portsmouth, to step aside immediately as City Manager conditioned upon the city meeting its obligations owed to me under my contract," she said in the email. "I have served this city with honor and dedication and I want to leave the city as I came in 1986 with honor."

City council members held a virtual meeting on Tuesday afternoon, where they voted to accept Patton's resignation in a 4-3 vote. LaVoris Pace has been appointed the interim city manager.

City council members also voted 4-3 to fire City Attorney Solomon Ashby. No explanation was given for his termination.

The resignation comes during turmoil for the city.

“We can’t expect the youth to remain in a city that has been downgraded at every possible turn,” Hunt said.