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'You have failed' | Angry Portsmouth citizens speak out against city council after two dramatic meetings

After voting 4-3 to fire the former city manager and appoint a former police chief in the role, citizens told council members they are tired of the "petty politics."

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — During a special called meeting, Portsmouth citizens said they are fed up with the drama on Portsmouth City Council.

Throughout the meeting, council members threw accusations around as to why former City Manager Angel Jones was fired.

On Tuesday, council members voted 4-3 to appoint former Portsmouth Police Chief Tonya Chapman as the new city manager. Tensions reached a boiling point and Mayor Shannon Glover adjourned the meeting early before public comment.

Councilman Mark Whitaker led the charge to fire former city manager Angel Jones with a 4-3 vote and hire Chapman.

RELATED: Portsmouth City Council appoints new city manager during tense meeting

Despite what it looks like, he said the decision was not rash and he shared his concerns with Jones late last year.

"I shared with Ms. Jones my loss of confidence in her leadership as city manager. Ms. Jones was definitely aware of the nature and implications of those concerns," he said, reading a prepared statement.

He alleged Jones was following orders from Mayor Glover instead of the entire council and was making deals and doing things outside of her job description without informing council members.

"Ms. Jones was not acting on the behalf of council, but rather the mayor, who according to the city charter, represents one vote," said Whitaker.

Glover rebutted those claims. Councilman Bill Moody and Councilwoman Lisa Lucas-Burke said it’s not right to make accusations against Jones when she is not present.

"I think we have a coward group of people who would choose to attack our former city manager in this manner when she cannot be here to defend herself," said Lucas-Burke, to which the crowd responded with applause.

During the first hour of the meeting, council members dissolved into pointing fingers and personal attacks.

Once the public was finally allowed to speak-- the main purpose of the meeting, they said they take issue with that.

"I can’t believe we spent an hour of our time airing out dirty laundry," said one speaker.

One man said they are sick and tired of the drama.

"We don't want to hear about all of this with the city manager. We don't even care at this point. The decision is made, so what? What we want to hear about is where do we go moving forward to make sure our city, our 33 square miles of city, is not always headline news every time the news comes on," he said.

Another man called council an embarrassment to the city and said Chapman does not have the credentials to be city manager.

"You have failed because of your petty politics," he said. "What I expect as a taxpayer is that we put the most experienced, competent people in the most important job that we have in the city and that's the city manager."

One woman told council she wants them to stop focusing on attacking each other and start fighting gun violence.

"If council put the same energy and outrage into the youth that are losing their lives like you did for a member losing their job, then maybe the citizens of Portsmouth will see progress start to happen," she said.

During the meeting, Councilman Whitaker asked to defer Chapman’s start date to June 28 to allow time for the criminal background check requested by Mayor Glover.

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