PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - After a Portsmouth woman did not show up for a court hearing Monday morning and a civil case dismissed against the mayor, the case was refiled.
Donna Sayegh, 71, of Portsmouth, was scheduled to face Mayor Kenneth Wright in court Monday morning. Sayegh did not show up for the hearing. The city attorney, representing Mayor Wright, asked the case be dismissed, and the judge agreed.
Monday afternoon, Sayegh called WAVY.com and said she was in the wrong courtroom and has refiled the case. She will face Mayor Wright on April 1.
Sheriff Bill Watson confirmed a warrant in debt was served and said the issue was the woman felt her free speech was violated. Watson says he witnessed the mayor cut off Sayegh's comments and ask police to escort her out of the meeting.
During the meeting, Sayegh signed up to speak twice during the public comments. Both times she was critical of council members and said the government is too involved.
The second time she stood up to speak, she accused Wright of lying and trying to scare people. At that moment, Wright tried to interrupt her. Sayegh would not stop talking and the mayor asked police to escort her out of council chambers.
To watch the confrontation at the Feb. 12 city council meeting, as posted on the city website, click here.
Portsmouth's website says a person is allowed to speak for a maximum of five minutes during the public comments. Sayegh did not speak for the maximum amount of time allowed before Wright asked for her to be removed.
WAVY.com called the mayor Sunday night for comment, but he has not returned our calls.
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