PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - A citizen group filed a formal complaint against Portsmouth's mayor and city council Tuesday regarding citizen comments not being broadcast on local cable television.
The Portsmouth Taxpayer Alliance wants the Commonwealth's Attorney to investigate the Portsmouth City Council's new policy blocking the broadcast of non-agenda speakers during council meetings, a decision made behind closed doors.
"We feel the action they took during this closed session was improper and illegal, so we have filed a complaint," Bill Watts told WAVY.com. "We just feel like they're taking away the right for the citizens to be heard."
Portsmouth Mayor Kenny Wright denied comment as did most council members.
Councilman Bill Moody told WAVY.com he thinks the council should continue to air the comments and that the council should have allowed public comment on the matter and voted in open session.
However, Moody said he does not think council violated any rules even though the topic was not on their agenda. He said the discussion simply evolved from another topic.
"They have the right to file and the Commonwealth's Attorney has the right to investigate if he decides to," Councilman Danny Meeks said.
Commonwealth's Attorney spokesman Bill Price told 10 On Your Side they do not intent to investigate. He said they feel there is a remedy for this within city council.
There is a regularly scheduled Portsmouth City Council meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m.
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