PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Tonya Chapman's contract as Portsmouth City Manager guaranteed a severance payout of $400,000 if she was fired in her first year.
On Tuesday, Portsmouth City Council voted to fire Chapman just six months into her role. But she may not see a penny of the severance outlined in her contract.
The contract was terminated for cause, according to a city spokesperson and council members familiar with the discussion behind closed doors.
Chapman's contract stipulates City Council has broad authority to terminate the agreement for cause for "any specified reason" including but not limited to: conviction of a crime or conduct injurious to the City, a material breach of responsibilities, and/or willfully engaging in conduct, which is demonstrably injurious to the City, monetarily or otherwise.
It's not immediately clear why Chapman was fired.
But if she was fired for cause, then the city is not contractually obligated to pay the former city manager the $400,000 severance.
A 13News Now investigation in August found it's not uncommon for Portsmouth to shell out big bucks to fired city officials.
The city has paid more than $414,000 in severance pay to five former employees since 2019.
Chapman received $22,307 in severance when she left her previous post as Portsmouth police chief.
And the city paid $103,000 in severance to Angel Jones, the city manager fired before Chapman.