SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Suffolk City Manager Patrick Roberts will leave his post of nearly five years on Friday.
On Monday night, City Council officially accepted his resignation after a two hour and 45 minute closed session. They also appointed his temporary successor.
Several members of the Suffolk City Council confirmed to 10 On Your Side last week that Roberts informed them of his intent to resign.
Roberts, a Portsmouth native and Virginia Military Institute alumnus, has led the city since 2015. He had previously served as deputy city manager from 2008 to 2015 and as an assistant director in the department of planning and community development before then.
Mayor Linda Johnson fought back tears after the vote.
“It is with extremely heavy hearts that we have agreed to accept the resignation of Patrick Roberts,” Johnson said. “He leaves our city a much better place. We wish he and his family the absolute best future ever. And we know he will be successful wherever he goes. Thank you Patrick. We appreciate you more than you’ll ever know.”
Through a city spokesperson, Roberts declined to comment on why he was leaving and neither the Mayor or council members would comment.
“I do not want to speak for him,” Johnson said. All she would say is it has been “a very tough year for all of us.”
Council members say he was well-liked by city staff. Roberts had recently announced he was working on a COVID-19 hazard pay plan for employees that would leverage CARES Act funding in a way that he hoped would be equitable — avoiding controversy seen in other cities.
Roberts’ contract was renewed last in July 2019 for a period of two years. It is not yet known what kind of compensation package he may receive.
Current Interim Deputy City Manager Al Moor has been appointed interim city manager. Until being promoted to the interim deputy post by Roberts in July, Al Moor spent the previous 25 years leading public utilities.
He will be paid $190,000 a year as long as he leads the city.
“Suffolk will be just fine,” Johnson said. “We will soon start the process to find a permanent replacement.”
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