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'He has to step down' | Hampton NAACP calls for councilman's resignation amid scandal with prostitute

Hampton City Councilman Chris Bowman is facing backlash after a police report leaked the fact that he said he met with and paid a prostitute in early 2022.

HAMPTON, Va. — Hampton City Councilman Chris Bowman is under a harsh light of criticism ever since a report leaked about his meet-up with a prostitute in 2022 that had gone wrong. 

In a criminal complaint in court, detectives wrote that Bowman told them he had met with a woman at a hotel in Newport News and paid her for oral sex. He said that's when he came back to find valuables missing from his car in the parking lot, including his cellphone.

Days later, Bowman said he received calls from a man, saying he had his phone and demanded $5,000 in cash or else he would release the phone's contents to the public. Police wrote in the complaint that Bowman was concerned about the man releasing the information, so he met him at a location and gave him the $5,000.

The man, according to the court record, then ran off with the cash and Bowman's phone.

Since the report came out about Bowman's prostitution scandal, people in the community have come forward, criticizing the councilman's behavior.  President of the Hampton NAACP branch, Gaylene Kanoyton, spoke out in a press conference outside Hampton City Hall.

"You know, when you run for office, it's a public office, so everything you do is public. We can't turn a blind eye. We can't be desensitized to something that is clearly wrong," said Kanoyton. "He has to step down...for the good of the order."

At a city council meeting, a man addressed the concerns publicly. Shortly after, Vice Mayor Jimmy Gray called for city council to censure Bowman as a sign of disapproval. Kanoyton said it is not enough to hold Bowman accountable.

"To be censured is to be slapped on the wrist," Kanoyton said. "At the end of the day, this is about public trust."

Following this report, 13News Now then obtained a letter Mayor Donnie Tuck sent to Councilman Bowman about separate concerns regarding reports of his behavior with women who work for the city.

Mayor Tuck said a female city worker reported a complaint, saying, "She advised that she felt you stood uncomfortably close to her and placed your hand on her waist while speaking with her." 

Mayor Tuck said the woman added she witnessed Bowman do the same thing to multiple other women at a work function.

Mayor Tuck added a newly hired employee had raised concerns about Bowman messaging her on social media, wanting to meet up, to which she declined and asked to not have Bowman be in her presence at work. 

The mayor said he had multiple meetings with Bowman about these concerns, saying, "You were asked: 1) to not message the employee...2) to be cognizant of people's personal space. To my knowledge, you have not had any further contact with the employee. However, this most recent complaint suggests that second prong of guidance remains an issue of concern."

"He says he loves the City of Hampton. If he loves the City of Hampton, then he should have stepped down on his own," Kanoyton said.

Councilman Bowman was first elected in July 2020. His term is set to last until December 31, 2024.

13News Now reached out to all Hampton City Council members, including Councilman Bowman, but we have not heard back. Mayor Tuck said he does not have a comment at this time. 

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