Portsmouth Mayor Glover speaks out in support of city manager after sudden firing

News 3's Leondra Head and Portsmouth Mayor Shannon Glover.jpg
Posted at 10:00 PM, May 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-25 23:30:29-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - After Portsmouth City Manager Angel Jones was fired during a Tuesday night city council meeting, Mayor Shannon Glover is speaking for the first time about how he and two other council members felt "blindsided" by the decision.

"Let me be clear, Angel Jones did not deserve this treatment. It is totally out of order for four members of council to unilaterally make a decision about the future of our city manager without conferring with the other three members," Glover tells News 3's Leondra Head.

Tuesday night, we caught up with Angel Jones after the city council meeting.

"I had been called to a meeting to say that if I didn’t resign, I would be terminated," Jones said.

Glover shared more details about a conversation Jones had with a council member prior to her firing.

"I did learn last Thursday, one of our council members, Dr. [Mark] Whitaker called Jones to his church for a presumed meeting for another matter. When she arrived, during the discussion, it was shared with me that an ultimatum was given that she either resign or [she would] be fired and [Whitaker had] four votes to make it so," Glover said.

Glover says the council is divided.

"The trust has been broken. I don’t know what the four of them plan to do at this point," Glover said.

Glover says during a recent evaluation, he rated Jones' performance with mostly 5 out 5 stars.

"We recently had an evaluation and she was rated as average based on all of the council members that submitted an evaluation. Her scores were off the charts for morality. She had an open-door policy," Glover said.

"When will city council appoint a new city manager?" News 3's Leondra Head asked Glover.

"I’m not real sure. I got word this afternoon that some of my colleagues have called for a special meeting for a potential managerial appointment," Glover said.

"Who called that meeting?" News 3's Leondra Head asked Glover.

"Apparently Dr. Mark Whitaker called the meeting," Glover said.

"Were you just made aware of this?" Head asked Glover.

"I was made aware of it via email. No one took the time to call me or inform that they were going to be calling for a special meeting to appoint a new city manager," Glover said.

Jones says her faith is keeping her strong.

"I’m here on purpose. When this door closes that means God has another door for me. I’ve been disrespected, I’ve been undermined. It’s been a hostile work environment ever since I’ve been here," Jones said.

In Monday’s city council meeting Councilwoman Lisa Lucas-Burke stated that council members were getting paid for votes. Glover says he's not aware of council members being paid for votes.

"I’m not aware of that factually so I can’t really speak to that and that is all I can say at this point," Glover said. "It did surprise me to hear that. It was a passionate meeting and tempers did rise a little bit and things can be said in a passionate exchange that could either be factual or non-factual."