PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) –The organizer of a petition drive to recall state Sen. Louise Lucas says by the end of the week, he will have enough names to take Lucas to court.
Lucas, the region’s most senior state senator, is under fire for allegedly telling protesters they would not be arrested if they crossed trespassing barriers and allegedly ordering police to stand down during what started as a peaceful protest.
Tuesday morning, Charlotte Briglin made a long drive from the 18th Senate District all the way to southern Virginia Beach to drop off signed and notarized petition papers. Briglin has joined Virginia Beach attorney Tim Anderson in collecting names across the district of people who allege Lucas’ actions set the stage for a protest that turned dangerous.
“Her actions were actually the cause for provoking and inciting the riot — multitudes of people are actually collecting the signatures as well as bringing them out here,” said Briglin.
Anderson says Briglin is just one of 50 other residents who have joined his efforts to collect 4,700 names of registered voters in the 18th Senate District who want to ask a judge to remove Lucas from office. As of Tuesday morning, Anderson, who has a large following on social media pages, says he has 2,000 names of verified 18th district registered voters who are asking for a recall.
Tuesday in a brief recorded interview, Lucas — who was in court for an unrelated hearing — spoke with 10 On Your Side reporter Chris Horne as she was preparing to leave Portsmouth to participate in the governor’s briefing with the media. Lucas said she is not bothered in the least by the recall effort.
BELOW: WAVY’s Chris Horne asks Sen. Louise Lucas her thoughts on the petition circulating for her removal.
Lucas is calling for an independent investigation into what she calls unfounded allegations.
Lucas has called for the firing of police Chief Angela Greene, saying she abdicated her responsibility to maintain peace at the protest. Anderson says Lucas is trying to use the police chief as a scapegoat.
“You know it was all fine when it was just property damage but when somebody got injured she immediately shifted the blame to the chief of police,” said Anderson.
Anderson says if the police chief or any other officer needs legal representation as a result of the protest that turned dangerous, he will represent that officer for free.
If Anderson collects the required number of verified registered voters, he will ask a circuit court judge in Chesapeake to consider charges, including felony inciting a riot and misuse of power.
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