In Virginia this week, after the Portsmouth City Council abruptly fired city manager Angel Jones, an uproar ensued. On Tuesday night, an unexpected 4-3 vote was passed, and less than 24 hours later, there were already plans to replace Jones.
Councilmember Mark Whitaker made the motion, which was then backed by Vice Mayor De’Andre Barnes, and councilmembers Paul Battle and Christopher Woodard. However, not everyone was in on the plan, and that soon became crystal clear. While Councilman Bill Moody said Whitaker and co had “blindsided” the other councilmembers, one in particular let everyone present that night know exactly how she felt.
Councilmember Lisa Lucas-Burke became so upset by the announcement that she began to hurl obscenities towards the “male dominated council,” accusing them of “degrading women” during a time where women are not represented enough across the nation.
“To make this kind of mockery of women is egregious,” Lucas-Burke said.
According to Yahoo News, Lucas-Burke said that she had spoken with both Battle and Woodard last week, neither of which admitted to knowing anything about firing Jones.
“You lied in my face,” she said, speaking directly to Battle. “And I want you to lie to these people, to say that you didn’t say that.” Battle did not respond.
Lucas-Burke went on to recount the way Battle expressed his support of Jones and commended the job she was doing. She also spoke of Jones’ “bending over backwards” in her role, and her willingness to look the other way as politicians received payment for votes which she could have reported.
“She [Jones] got a lot on this council, and that’s why they wanna get rid of her!” she cried out.
“I’m pissed as a mother*****r,” Lucas-Burke declared at the height of her speech. “I know what’s going on…I’m sick of it!”
Lucas-Burke became so passionate in her support of Angel Jones, that Mayor Shannon Glover had to call a recess. Glover, who voted against Jones’ termination called it a “miscarriage of justice” Tuesday night, and spoke in support of Jones’ time spent in the city manager role. The Mayor cited how she worked long hours, uplifted the youth of the community, and cried with the mothers who lost children to violence.
Despite the termination however, Jones has remained positive. “It is what it is, and I’ll be fine,” she said.
Cedric Cradle on the other hand, one of the audience members who took to the podium to voice his disapproval, called the four councilmembers responsible for the vote, “a disgrace.”
“This is a sad day in Portsmouth,” Cradle said. “We’ve got four council members — four — who have shown the ultimate disrespect to not only a city manager, but somebody’s mother, somebody’s wife, somebody’s child.”
Battle would not comment on the decision, but Whitaker said “it’s a personnel matter” and that he voted to fire Jones “because it was necessary.”