PORTSMOUTH, Va. - A wild car chase involving the Portsmouth County Sheriff following the city's mayor, Kenny Wright, shouldn't be marked down as 'political' but rather, a very poor decision made by the city's top dawg. And the mayor is now facing some daunting consequences.
After the city council meeting that both attended Tuesday, Jan. 12, Sheriff Bill Watson informed the mayor that Wright's parking sticker on his automobile had expired seven months ago. The mayor was told this during a traffic stop shortly after the mayor had pulled out of an underground parking deck after the meeting. Mayor Wright refused to receive this citation from the Sheriff, however, and drove through the Portsmouth streets, acting like the Dukes of Hazzard.
Well, it probably wasn't nearly that rootin' tootin' dramatic as the video linked above - in fact, somebody actually said it was "a low speed pursuit"; but the fact that that mayor of a city would be such a bonehead as to have attempted to outrun the county sheriff on the very streets that he has been obliged to protect and oversee is an outrage. And Mayor Wright, didn't you know that most cop cars - even in little villages - have enough bite to race on the NASCAR circuit?
IT'S ENTIRELY POLITICAL, YOU SEE: Sheriff Watson was at City Hall to hear about Council member Bill Moody being fined $1,500 for speaking about council happenings outside of a closed door meeting.
A closed door meeting? What about the Sunshine Law, guys? It sounds fishy as hell - but what else can you expect when the county's leading lawman chases down the mayor of the 'New York City' of Portsmouth County? Holy Smokes! They should rename this place BatshitCraxyVille. And actually, these guys couldn't even do a car chase right. According to a source quoted in The Virginian Pilot, "It was basically a low-speed pursuit."
"I don't know where they think they get the authority to fine anybody. They are not in the judicial system. They are not law enforcement officers. They have no authority to fine anybody," said Watson to the 13 News Now news team.
According to News Channel 3: "There's been tension between the Sheriff and the Mayor since the Sheriff's budget was cut significantly."
HAIL, HAIL, HOLY ANOINTED ONE: "I'm tired of the mayor trying to run the city like he is a God. He was elected, not anointed. He needs understand that," Sheriff Watson is quoted as saying on News Channel 3.
The Sheriff pledges that it wasn't a political vendetta - writing the mayor a citation for having an out-of-date license plate sticker. Sheriff Watson said he was talking to a friend, when he realized there was a black Mercedes with an expired inspection sticker.
According to News Channel 3, Sheriff Watson told the news team: "I'll be the first one to admit I got a woody when I saw that sticker on his car, I sure did. ," said Sheriff Watson.
SHERIFF, GET OUT'A HERE: The Sheriff said he pulled the Mayor over and the mayor said, "Sheriff get out of here. And he pulls off I thought, the man's lost his mind," Sheriff Watson is quoted as saying in the New Channel 3 article.
Then, Sheriff Watson said he turned on his lights and followed the mayor through Olde Towne. They started at City Hall and it ended near the intersection of High Street and Effingham, News Channel 3's online article adds.
"He said, 'I've got the Chief on the phone'. I said I don't give a damn who you've got on the phone I don't work for the Chief," said Watson.
Although the Sheriff said he only wrote Mayor Kenny Wright a citation for having an outdated license sticker (after Wright was finally apprehended), some reports say the Mayor has now been charged with felony eluding. The Virginian Pilot article reads as such, so it must be true.
"The Mayor is not a criminal he was in no way trying to elude the Sheriff," said Mayor Wright's Attorney Michael Massie on the News Channel 3 page.