Amended lawsuit seeking to halt Robert E. Lee statue’s removal challenges Northam’s authority

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A new lawsuit seeking to prevent Gov. Ralph Northam from removing the Robert E. Lee statue was filed in Richmond Circuit Court on Wednesday, three weeks after a judge ruled that the original complaint was flawed and needed to be amended.

Circuit Court Judge Bradley Cavedo extended a temporary injunction to halt the monument’s removal on June 18, giving Joseph Blackburn, the attorney for William Gregory, the plaintiff in the case, 21 days to file a new motion.

The amended suit challenges the governor’s authority to order the removal, claiming that if the state fails to guard and protect the monument it violates provisions in deeds from 1890, 1887 and also the state constitution and law. Northam said last month that the monument would be taken down “as soon as possible.”

The complaint also states that if the injunction is lifted, the defendants in the case, Northam and Joseph Damico, the director of the state Department of General Services, “will be allowed to breach their legal and contractual obligations to the Plaintiffs with impunity.”

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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