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Ousted Portsmouth city manager speaks out after sudden termination

Angel Jones is very upset over her surprise firing Tuesday night in a 4-3 city council vote.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Two days after being fired, the former city manager of Portsmouth said she is at a loss over her sudden termination. 

Angel Jones's firing Tuesday night created a deep divide among the city council. 

In a phone interview, Jones said she is limited in what she is willing to share for now, but said she is very upset. 

"I'm a professional and I stand on values. I stand on fairness and equity and in the treatment of people and that's all that I have poured into this community and I'm at a loss at this point," Jones said.

Portsmouth City Council unexpectedly voted 4-3 to fire Jones during a meeting that turned heated after three members were reportedly blindsided.

Councilman Mark Whitaker put the motion for the termination on the floor. He was supported by Vice Mayor De'Andre Barnes and two council members, Paul Battle and Christopher Woodard.

The most heated reaction came from Councilwoman Lisa Lucas-Burke when she accused council of degrading women. 

"This is egregious for the male-dominated council to make this decision today," she said. 

Her sharp denunciation was laced with obscenities. 

"I'm pissed as a (expletive)! Yeah, I'm going to say it. I am pissed as a (expletive)!" she said at the meeting.

Mayor Shannon Glover also expressed his displeasure, accusing the four members who voted for the termination of not following protocol. He spoke up for Jones' one year of service. 

"I have watched our city manager stay up late at night work herself to the bone!" Glover said.

As for a reason behind his vote, Barnes cited crime.

"When it comes to a year later, things have gotten worse when it comes to the crime. Our children are still getting killed," Barnes said.

Jones, who said she felt bullied, is thankful for what she said her been a tremendous show of support since Tuesday.

"My phone is overloaded from staff and just wanting to show their support—wanting to know what they can do and for staff, I said, keep the focus on the progress that we were making and don't be discouraged," she said.

 

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