PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – Following the firing of City Manager Tonya Chapman on Tuesday, sources suggested to 10 On Your Side that one of the reasons for firing Chapman was due to a forensic audit she recommended that was approved by City Council. 

During the first Portsmouth City Council meeting of the year, Councilman Bill Moody made the motion to fire Chapman.

During that meeting, Councilwoman Lisa Lucas Burke was also elected as the new Vice Mayor. Burke told 10 On Your Side that the audit to look into unaccounted gift cards was one of the reasons for Chapman’s firing. 

“There were some concerns about the $300,000 audit to find $80,000 dollars for gift cards and we found there was no loss there so that raised eyebrows with this new council,” Burke said. 

However, a source close to that audit says the firm hired to do the audit has not been retained.

The audit, which was approved by City Council, was not for the gift cards alone. The source says the city is still discussing the scope of work, which will include:  

  • Undocumented pay for community liaisons, with no accountability 
  • Possible violations of procurement policies 
  • Concerns with General Services practices
  • Assessment of the Department of Public Utilities
  • Waste Management
  • Overspending the budget

Chapman denied an interview but did send 10 On Your Side the following statement about her firing:

Although statements made by some members of Council were inaccurate, the outcome was expected. I am grateful to the City Council and the citizens of Portsmouth for the opportunity.

Former Portsmouth City Manager, Tonya Chapman