PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - Mayor James Holley refused to resign from office Friday despitea voters' petition and a judge's order to vacate his post by 5p.m.
WAVY.com caught up with Mayor Holley Friday just a few hoursbefore the deadline as he hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for anew salon on High Street. He said, "This business is openingbecause they like my being mayor."
WAVY.com's Mary Kay Mallonee asked him if he intended to turn inhis resignation by 5 p.m. and Holley said, "Well, I don't have aresignation to turn in so to me that would be obvious that I don'tplan to turn one in."
Holley told the small crowd gathered for the ribbon-cuttingceremony, "Those who do not understand that we come together as afamily... we are going to let them know that we ain't dead! We are alive!"
A group of citizens first called for Holley's resignation inSeptember 2009 after it was revealed that Holley had been orderinghis city secretary to handle his personal errands. City Councilpublicly scolded Holley, fined him $2,500 and formally voted torequest his retirement.
The citizens collected signatures, and on May 27, a judge ruledthey had submitted enough. The judge said that Holley had untilclose of business on June 4 to resign or he will have to go througha recall election on July 13.
The entire election process could cost Portsmouth taxpayersbetween $60,000 and $120,000. Mayor Holley said that is nothis fault.
"Well, I didn't create it. All you have to do is leave mealone and let me be the mayor. You don't have to have an election.I haven't been that bad," said Mayor Holley.
The Voter Registrar in Portsmouth will now immediately beginscrambling to put together the recall election on July 13.
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