Court Hears New Motions in Fight Over 2 Charlottesville Statues
Attorneys are bringing up new motions in the legal battle over the city's two statues of Confederate Army generals.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Attorneys are bringing up new motions in the legal battle over the city's two statues of Confederate Army generals.
A three-day trial had been scheduled to get underway inside Charlottesville Circuit Court early Monday, January 14. However, the trial was pushed to a later date, and Judge Richard E. Moore heard motions.
Groups and individuals have been seeking to overturn a decision by Charlottesville City Council in February 2017 to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee from what is now Market Street Park. Councilors unanimously voted in September 2017 to also remove the statue of Thomas Johnathan “Stonewall” Jackson located in Court Park - then named Jackson Park.
The plaintiffs believe City Council - Mike Signer, Kathy Galvin, Wes Bellamy, Kristin Szakos, and Bob Fenwick - acted beyond its authority and violated a state law which prohibits removing monuments or memorials to war veterans.
Judge Moore is now considering changing one of his earlier decisions: Previously, the individual members of City Council had immunity should the plaintiffs win their lawsuit. However, a reversal by the judge would potentially make each defendant liable for possible damages and fees.
Szakos and Fenwick are no longer city councilors. Signer and Bellamy held the positions of mayor and vice mayor, respectively, when the lawsuit was initially filed. Those leadership positions are currently held by City Council's newest members: Mayor Nikuyah Walker and Vice Mayor Heather Hill.