Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly listed an event Lucas is sponsoring. The event is Portsmouth Pride.
PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — More than three months after state Sen. Louise Lucas, (D-Portsmouth), was awarded a six-figure settlement from the City of Portsmouth as part of the Confederate monument fallout, she is revealing where she will be spending some of the money.
Lucas told 10 On Your Side that the money will now go to a variety of nonprofits she has previously supported through the Senator L. Louise Lucas Legacy fund that is run through the Hampton Roads Community Foundation.
Those organizations include the Portsmouth Volunteers for the Homeless, the Ida Barbour Early Learning Center and the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.
Lucas also said she recently cut a check for $15,000 to be a sponsor of 2022 Portsmouth Pride festival, scheduled for June 4.
“What I intend to do is take that money and spread it out over time like I always have. I’m not trying to dump all the money at one time,” Lucas said.
Lucas’ plans for the money have been of high interest to those who dabble in the often unpredictable world of Portsmouth politics.
Lucas sued former Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene and Portsmouth Police Sgt. Kevin McGee, saying they unlawfully charged her in connection with the Confederate monument destruction in June 2020.
Those charges were later dropped and the City of Portsmouth paid for the representation of both Greene and McGee. The $300,000 was agreed upon in mediation, according to Burle Stromberg, the city’s interim city attorney at the time.
Lucas, who previously lost a defamation case surrounding the incident, originally demanded $6.7 million. She said the monument represented a lost cause and she wants to support good causes with this money.
On June 10, 2020, Lucas arrived at the site of the Confederate monument at its longtime location near the intersection of High and Court streets, after two NAACP members were arrested for trespassing. Police body camera video shows Lucas telling officers that protesters were going to “paint” the more than century-old monument and said, “you can’t stop them.”
The historic structure was painted, damaged and later that night, a man was nearly killed when part of the monument was pulled down on top of him.
However, Lucas was not on scene when that happened. She said nearly two years after the incident, that while she feels sorry for the ultimate outcome, she does not regret her role that day.
“Absolutely not, do not regret it. I feel like the people who elected me wanted some one to give voice to what they were feeling. And they have felt for years that those monuments should come down. There were leaders on whose shoulders I stand right now, who fought those battles back in the early 50s and 60s to remove those very same monuments,” Lucas said. “And it took something like this to take down those monuments and so, if I had to do it all over again, I would there would be no reservation.”