UPDATE: Chesapeake police confirmed they are investigating the claims of elder abuse against Amanda Newins after receiving a complaint. Emails to the attorney for Newins and the chairman of the Chesapeake Republican Party seeking a response were not immediately answered.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – Amanda Newins, a practicing attorney and Republican candidate for City Council, was sued Friday by a family member who is claiming elder abuse. The lawsuit, brought by Shirley Davis, the great aunt of Newins, claims that Newins abused Davis and her late husband Bobby both financially and emotionally.

The 13-page complaint calls for more than $890,000 in punitive and compensatory damages.

Bobby Davis had late-stage Alzheimer’s disease and advanced dementia in September 2020 when the couple moved in with Newins, who was their caretaker.

Among the allegations: Newins demanded $1,000 a month in rent, and isolated her great aunt and uncle by withholding his cell phone and her hearing aids and glasses; Newins would punish her uncle by forcing him to sit at the kitchen table until he finished dinner, sometimes as late as 11 p.m.; Newins required that her aunt and uncle, who were in their 80s, to clean up the waste left behind by Newins’s four cats and two dogs.

The lawsuit also claims Newins had the Davises sign a power of attorney — that she then used to add her own name to the elderly couple’s numerous bank accounts; that Newins gifted the couple’s Kempsville home to herself worth an estimated $330,000; that Newins sold the Davises’ two vehicles and bought a BMW for herself; that she made withdrawals totaling $113,000 from two separate retirement accounts; that she used their credit cards for $31,000 for personal expenses and home improvements.

Newins responded to 10 On Your Side through her attorney Alison Zizzo with this statement:

“We are disheartened to learn that a baseless lawsuit has been filed by an estranged family member against Amanda so close in time to an important election. Amanda has the complete support of her family including her siblings, father, grandmother, cousins, her Uncle’s siblings and other family as well as his lifelong friends.

“We are eagerly anticipating the opportunity for Amanda to represent to the court the actual facts in this matter. We are certain that the court will find Amanda’s actions were not only appropriate but above reproach.  Attempting to drag an opponent through the mud with unfounded accusations is certainly not a new tactic in politics but remains an unfortunate consequence of today’s American political system.”

Alison Zizzo, attoryney for Amanda Newins

Attorney for Shirley Davis Ashley Horbal said in a Monday afternoon email “the facts of the Complaint speak for themselves and Ms. Davis looks forward to telling her story in court.”

Newins is one of the five candidates for City Council endorsed by the Chesapeake Republican Party. Party headquarters were locked when 10 On Your Side visited late Monday morning, and a voicemail message was not immediately returned.