Virginia Supreme Court to appoint judge outside of Portsmouth to preside over lawsuit by former police chief

Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The Supreme Court of Virginia is now tasked with appointing a judge from outside of Portsmouth to preside over the wrongful termination lawsuit filed against the city by its former police chief, Angela Greene.

Greene filed the lawsuit against the city in April after she was fired in the wake of the city’s Confederate monument incident.

Normally Portsmouth judges preside over cases filed within the city, but all four Circuit Court judges recused themselves from the lawsuit on Friday. 

In a motion, the judges said it would be “improper” for them to hear the case because many of the people involved are their acquaintances. The lawsuit listed the City of Portsmouth, former City Manager Lydia Pettis Patton and former Acting City Manager Lavoris Pace as defendants.

Greene was fired from her job as the Portsmouth police chief last November, more than two months after being placed on administrative leave.

Her firing came about five months after protesters destroyed a Confederate monument downtown. Police didn’t intervene in their demonstration until a statue fell and seriously injured a protester.

In the aftermath of the protest, police charged more than a dozen people with felonies including State Senator Louise Lucas (D-Portsmouth).

Lucas and several others faced two felony charges in the case, conspiracy to commit a felony and injury to a monument in excess of $1,000. All of the charges were dropped.

In Greene’s lawsuit, her attorney says that the former police chief was wrongfully fired and retaliated against for refusing to obey an illegal order and for complying with Virginia law.

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