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Citizen suit to oust Petersburg officials moves forward

Posted at 6:43 PM, Feb 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-06 18:43:31-05

PETERSBURG, Va. – The court proceedings against Petersburg Mayor Sam Parham and Councilman Howard Myers are moving forward.

Parham says his concern isn't about the court proceedings but the cost to City Taxpayers.

"I look forward to our story being told but it's unfortunate that its un-necessary costs for the tax payers,” he said.

The voters who signed the petitions to try and remove Sam Parham and Howard Myers from their City Council Seats signed because they were concerned about how taxpayer money has been spent in the past.

"Feeling at least guardedly optimistic that this will move along and that the issues that are concerning citizens of Petersburg will be considered in a court of law,” said Barb Rudolph, Clean Sweep Petersburg.

Both Parham and Myers now have several decisions to make before their next court date in mid-February.

Both have to decide if they want to be tried together, or separately, and they also have to decide if they want a trial by jury or trial by judge.

"Haven't decided yet, haven't decided but those are the options,” Parham said.

"We will make that decision sometime soon, this week,” said Howard Myers, Petersburg City Council Member – and former mayor.

Parham said he looks forward to fixing the issues and he's adamant that much of Petersburg’s financial problems started before he was elected.

"I've been on council two years and a lot of those allegations are from things that's been going on, for multiple years before I got there,” he said.

Parham added that the city is making progress.

"We are headed in the right direction and I'm not going to be sidetracked by these allegations,” he said.

If court proceedings continue past the hearing on February 16, the trial could last up to two days.

Court observers say that could cost thousands of dollars in attorney fees

Legal experts also said that Parham might fare better in a trial if he is tried separately and not Myers.