Corrupt Portsmouth, VA Mayor Fighting Recall After Refusing to Step Down

Thu, May 13 2010 by Anonymous

James HolleyA group of citizens have turned in nearly 9,000 signatures - in a city of just over 100,000 residents - for the recall of Mayor James Holley. Holley was reprimanded and fined by the city council last year after it was found that he was using city employees to perform personal chores for him, including online shopping and canceling his subscription to Playboy.

Despite this corruption and repeated calls for him to step down he refuses to do so, and is now fighting efforts by concerned citizens to recall him by challenging the validity of the petition signatures. Holley, who was recalled as mayor in 1987, claims he does not want to be removed by voters twice. Under city law, if it is found that the petition has the necessary number of signatures the mayor would have five days to step down. If he refuses, a judge will set a date between 30 and 40 days out for a recall election. Recall supporters need signatures equal to 30 percent of those who voted in the last gubernatorial election, which is about 6,600 signatures.

It’s interesting to note that in a citywide election held just two days before the recall petition was turned in, only 10,072 of the city’s 61,352 registered voters came to the polls. This means that with nearly 9,000 signatures on the petition, almost as many people want a recall election as voted in the last city election.

It is fortunate that the city has a process to recall wayward elected officials, otherwise citizens would have no choice to let Holley serve the remaining two years of his term.