Portsmouth Vice Mayor explains vote to remove city manager

Angel Jones terminated as PT city manager (May 24)
Posted at 10:41 PM, May 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-27 00:12:14-04

PORTSMOUTH, Va - After Portsmouth City Manager Angel Jones was fired during a Tuesday night city council meeting, News 3 spoke with Vice Mayor De'Andre Barnes and reached out to other city council members. Four city council members voted to suddenly fire Angel Jones in Tuesday’s city council meeting. Three council members voted to keep her in office.

Barnes believes Jones didn’t do enough to tackle crime in Portsmouth.

"When it comes to a particular issue, you got to talk to the people that’s being effected. You can’t sit in a meeting and talk at those people. You actually have to go into the community," Barnes said.

However, News 3 spoke to a mother who was impacted by gun violence when her daughter was shot. She says Jones had been helping her and other gun violence survivors.

"She called one meeting and there were 27 members down there including myself. She moved a lot of pieces to get a lot done for use. As far as mental health services, you name it, she helped most of the families," Shannon Carmack said.

Carmack's daughter was shot while in a car in Portsmouth last fall. Thankfully, her daughter is recovering, but Carmack says it's going to be a long road.

"Ms. Jones has done so much for families of gun violence in less than 1 year than anyone has done for gun violence and families," Carmack said.

Some city council members stated that Councilman Mark Whitaker called a private meeting at his church with Jones to discuss her resigning. Barnes says he doesn’t see a problem in the two meeting privately.

"I’ve heard people saying that’s unethical to invite somebody. City council doesn’t have offices, so pretty much wherever we are is where we can meet. If he did do that, the church is his office, so I don’t see anything wrong with having a meeting at your office," Barnes said.

We reached to Whitaker but did not get a response.

In Monday’s city council meeting, Councilwoman Lisa Lucas-Burke stated that council members were getting paid for votes.

“Somebody came to my office and asked me to deal with this stuff because they’ve been paid $2,000 to get their vote on some stuff. I’m sick of it,” Lucas-Burke said.

News 3 asked Barnes if he was aware of council members getting paid for votes.

"I’m not aware of that. I think that if she knows that type of information, she has a duty to report that to the police so that whoever is getting paid for votes can go to jail," Barnes said.