PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth Vice Mayor Lisa Lucas-Burke was served a summons on Monday morning after a Portsmouth resident filed a criminal complaint against her in connection to the city’s Confederate monument controversy.
Lucas-Burke, the daughter of State Sen. Louise Lucas, faces two class 3 misdemeanor charges in the case. Portsmouth resident Thomas Dubois said he believes Lucas-Burke violated a section in the city code when she called for Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene to be fired after Greene charged several community leaders, including Lucas-Burke’s mother, in connection to vandalism at the monument on June 10.
“I don’t understand their purpose behind [the charges], I was only expressing my opinion to a group of citizens who were out there for a rally,” Lucas-Burke told 10 On Your Side.
The summons, issued by Portsmouth deputies, order Lucas-Burke to appear in court on Sept. 2.
A class 3 misdemeanor is not punishable by jail time, but does bring a $500 fine. However, if convicted, Lucas-Burke would have to forfeit her title as vice mayor and her seat on City Council.
Dubois told 10 On Your Side he wants city officials to be held accountable for their actions.
“In a perfect world I’d like her just to admit what she did was wrong and accept the consequences and everybody can move on. Hopefully, that will happen,” he said.
State Sen. Lucas, a longtime lawmaker and president pro tempore of the Virginia Senate, is facing charges of conspiracy to commit a felony and injury to a monument in excess of $1,000 after the June 10 incident. She turned herself in to police last week before making her way to the Virginia General Assembly special session on COVID-19 and police reform.
In the meantime, multiple politicians have spoken out in support of Lucas, including Gov. Ralph Northam, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus and Rep. Bobby Scott.
The senator’s attorney, Del. Don Scott, called the charges a desperate act of politics.
“Consequently they’re doing what they always do which is they weaponize the criminal justice system against black leadership and that’s what they’re doing this time we’re gonna fight it vehemently, we’re gonna fight it vigorously,” Scott told WAVY-TV.
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