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  1. Norfolk council election could endanger voting bloc

    April 1, 2014 by Christy

    In the six-person race to fill Anthony Burfoot’s Ward 3 seat on the City Council, the candidate with the most to lose may be Mayor Paul Fraim.

    Burfoot, an ally of the mayor, was elected treasurer in November. His departure from the council puts Fraim’s majority voting bloc on the line.

    After years of solid control of council actions, Fraim’s coalition today is “somewhat fragile,” said former Ocean View Councilman W. Randy Wright.

    “You’ve got a loose-knit majority coalition that is in jeopardy with someone else being elected in Ward 3 that is not of the same ilk,” he said. “It’s a big seat.”

    Wright was unseated four years ago by Councilman Tommy Smigiel, now known as an independent vote on the council and often the sole dissenter.

    But Smigiel is sometimes joined in opposition to the mayor by Councilman Andy Protogyrou

    and Vice Mayor Angelia Williams, creating 5-3 votes.

    One of the most high-profile examples of a 5-3 split was the approval in 2011 of the ill-fated plan by Tivest Development for an office building at Tidewater Drive and Virginia Beach Boulevard. The plan fell apart days after the vote when it became public that the anchor tenant, a nonprofit called STOP, was having major financial problems and wouldn’t be able to afford the rent.

    Were Burfoot’s seat to be won by someone less inclined to agree with Fraim, 4-4 votes could result, killing some proposals.

    Fraim said he has not endorsed a candidate in Ward 3 and hasn’t decided whether he’ll do so publicly.

    The Ward 3 candidates are salesman and political consultant William H. Collins Jr., 59; Glen L. Jones Sr., 52, a minister and school volunteer; Mamie Johnson, 48, president of the Broad Creek civic league and a retired teacher; Rodney A. Jordan, 48, a School Board member; Marcus J. Powell, 48, a retired Marine and Barraud Park activist; and Lionell Spruill Jr., 46, a veterans affairs coordinator at Norfolk State University.

    The ward includes Norview, Ballentine Place and other neighborhoods in the heart of the city.

    Fraim said Johnson is the only candidate who has asked to meet with him. “I think she would do well on the council, but there are other candidates as well,” he said.

    Of Fraim, Johnson said, “Mayor Fraim has a really good vision as far as the direction of our schools as well as for our city.”

    Powell said that while he likes the longtime mayor and thinks Fraim has the best interests of the city at heart, he believes all of Norfolk’s elected officials should be limited in how long they can serve because some communities get passed over. Fraim has been mayor for 20 years.

    “I think Smigiel and Protogyrou work very well together,” he said. “They have the best interests of the people first – and then politics – and that’s how council should be run.”

    Read the full article from here.

  2. Regional jail’s board discusses budget shortfall

    January 17, 2014 by Christy

    The Hampton Roads Regional Jail’s governing body met Wednesday to discuss how to make up a projected budget shortfall in the coming fiscal year.

    A 2015 annual budget presentation put together by the authority proposes an increase in the amount cities pay

    the authority of $8 per inmate, per day.

    The authority is also looking into housing inmates from other municipalities, said Andrew Protogyrou, a Norfolk city councilman and chairman of the regional jail authority.

    Each of the jail’s four member cities – Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk and Portsmouth – has a contract with it to pay for a set number of inmates each

    day at a certain rate.

    The authority, composed of representatives from its member cities, freed up about $2.5 million Wednesday to cover its expenses by reducing its reserve fund from 25 percent of its total expenditures to 16.67 percent.

    Read the full article here.


  3. Norfolk council names ex-con to volunteer post

    by Christy

    Alphonso Albert generated controversy in 2007 when he was appointed to lead a new anti-crime agency in city government. Years earlier, he was convicted of manslaughter and drug violations and was charged and acquitted in another killing.

    After a 6-2 council vote on Tuesday evening, Albert is back in city government. But this time he’s in a volunteer position – he was appointed to the board of the Norfolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

    The appointment was pushed by Councilman Paul Riddick and generated some

    division on the council. But Mayor Paul Fraim says the situation is different than in 2007.

    “This is an unpaid volunteer position,” he said. “I have known Alphonso for years and know how committed he is to public service, and that’s why I was one of six council members to support his appointment.”

    However, council members Andrew Protogyrou and Tommy Smigiel objected. Smigiel said he was concerned with Albert’s involvement in an anti-poverty agency that nearly went broke. He also said if there is a concern about diversity on the board, there are potentially hundreds of more qualified African American leaders who could have been appointed.

    “This is status quo to me,” he said. “We keep on cycling the same names.”

    Protogyrou said he opposed the appointment because he said since Albert probably didn’t qualify to live in public housing because of his criminal record, he shouldn’t sit on the board. Still, Protogyrou called Albert on Wednesday morning to wish him luck.

    “He said thank you. And he said that he would give his all,” Protogyrou said.

    Read the full article here.

  4. Norfolk council wants fewer animals euthanized

    December 4, 2013 by Christy

    The City Council is eager to see a reduction in the number of animals euthanized at the city’s shelter.

    After nearly two years of discussion, council members say they want to see an improvement in the city’s save rate, the percentage of animals not euthanized at the city’s shelter. The rate has been about the same the past two years: 54 percent in 2011 and 53 percent in 2012.

    Norfolk City Manager told the council last year that city staff would work toward gradually increasing the save rate. Councilman Andy Protogyrou said at a Tuesday council meeting that he expects the administration to make real on that promise.

    “To say that it’s close isn’t good enough,” he said. “Tell me it’s close and you failed.”

    The council delayed further discussion on the issue until the first of the year, when the updated save rate will be available.

    The city prix viagra pharmacie formed the Animal Advisory Board earlier this year to identify ways to improve animal care in Norfolk. That board has passed along several proposals, including a recommendation that the city adopt a “trap,

    neuter, release” (TNR) program.

    The director of general services, tried to give a presentation on those proposals Tuesday, but some council members took issue with the staff’s position on the legality of TNR.

    City staff referenced an attorney general opinion that it said determined TNR is not authorized under state law. Protogyrou, an attorney, said he read that opinion differently.

    Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim, also an attorney, said he relies on the City Attorney’s Office to draw legal conclusions. Fraim added that Protogyrou is overlooking another hurdle: He might not have the five votes needed to pass TNR.

    Norfolk City Manager said his office has made no decision on the board’s recommendations. The staff report issued in October said there was not enough funding or information available to justify the city’s support for several of the proposals.

    “I don’t want to

    know how we can’t,” Protogyrou said. “I want to know how we can.”

    Read the full article here.

  5. Super Lawyers Business Edition 2013

    by Christy

    Andrew A. Protogyrou is listed in the 2013 Super Lawyers Magazine, Business Edition for Personal Injury Defense: General. This annual list casino

    compiles the nation’s top attorneys nominated by their peers for excellence in practice. This publisher considers the attorneys listed as the go-to attorneys in litigation.

  6. Beach man gets 18 months for wreck that killed friend

    October 16, 2013 by Christy

    The 19 year old victim’s mother never wanted the man responsible for her daughter’s death to be arrested.

    That, however, didn’t keep a Circuit Court judge Tuesday from sentencing the defendant to 18 months in jail. He was drunk at the time of the Aug. 14, 2011, crash.

    State sentencing guidelines recommended that the defendant receive only probation. Prosecutors asked for at least a year.

    The defendant, now 24, pleaded guilty last year to involuntary manslaughter. According to court documents, he was driving his 2005 Ford F-150 pickup about 2:30 a.m., when he veered off the road and struck a tree in the 1200 block of Blackwater Road.

    The crash drew the attention of a nearby resident, who found the defendant lying on the ground next to his burning truck. The man dragged him to safety, court documents said. The 19-year-old victim, who was in the passenger seat, died at the scene.

    According to hospital records, the defendant registered a blood-alcohol content of 0.17, more than twice the legal limit for driving.

    The crash broke both of his’ legs and seriously burned him. Over the past two years, the defendant has undergone 10 surgeries, according to Andrew Protogyrou, his attorney. He said that his client is coping with a staph infection and that his right femur “doesn’t exist.”

    “He has a rod in there now,” Protogyrou said, asking the court for leniency.

    Judge Brown said he believed that the defendant would never forget what happened to his passenger, but he also noted that the defendant had a history with alcohol.

    In 2008, 2009 and 2010, the defendant was convicted in Virginia Beach of unlawful possession of alcohol, according to online court records. In 2009, he also was convicted of public intoxication.

    Read the full article here.

  7. Norfolk Mayor’s Commission on Poverty Reduction Ramps Up

    by Christy

    The Mayor’s Commission on

    Poverty Reduction is holding a series cialis generique of town hall meetings to gather input from citizens regarding poverty in Norfolk on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at the Southside Aquatic Center located at 1750 Campostella Road 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on Thursday, November 7, 2013 at the Pretlow Library located at 111 W. Ocean View Avenue, 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

  8. Councilman requests video from police-involved shooting

    September 24, 2013 by Christy

    Norfolk City Councilman and Attorney Andrew A. Protogyrou is asking for the release of the video detailing the shooting death of a Joshua “Omar” Johnson by local police in May.

    The Norfolk Commonwealth”s Attorney announced September 6 that the deadly force used in the officer-involved shooting of Johnson was justified. Johnson’s family remains critical of the officer”s actions during the incident and made it known days after the announcement they would appeal the decision.

    Johnson was shot and killed in what the Commonwealth”s Attorney calls an act of protection by a Norfolk Police Officer.

    Officers were called to the Wells Fargo bank on Colonial Avenue in Ghent May 20 when a bank teller reported Johnson and his girlfriend trying to cash a bad check. When the officers approached Johnson”s vehicle

    in the bank”s drive thru lane, police say Johnson used his vehicle as a weapon against a Norfolk Police Officer. That”s when a fellow officer shot eleven rounds into the vehicle, killing Johnson at the scene.

    Michael Muhammad, community activist and family spokesman, wants the video released showing the shooting from police dash cameras, cell phone cameras, and surveillance cameras from the bank and nearby businesses. “If you”re not prosecuting, then go ahead [and release the video] and the information that”s there pursuant to the law. [It] should be released through the Freedom of Information Act,” Muhammad told local reporters. “If I had video, that would clear me and that would put all rumor and innuendo to bed. I would definitely rush that out to the media. There”s no reason to hold it.”

    Read the full article here.

  9. Va. Beach man gets 4½ years in ID theft case

    September 13, 2013 by Christy

    A Virginia Beach man with prior convictions for killing his 2-year-old son and molesting two other children was sentenced Thursday to 4½ years in prison for a new set of crimes: health care fraud and identity theft.

    The Virginia Beach man, admitted in federal court that he stole more than $300,000 from a doctor’s office in a check forgery scheme, assisted by a woman who worked in the office. He pleaded guilty to health care fraud and aggravated identity theft.

    The woman, plead guilty as well and was scheduled to be sentenced September 12, 2013. The two had a relationship that produced a child, his attorney said.

    The Virginia Beach man admitted that he used the identity of a Virginia Beach doctor to cash forged insurance checks that the acheter sildenafil sandoz woman had stolen from the office. They forged 590 checks totaling $308,000, court records say.

    The Virginia Beach man was convicted in 1976 of killing his 2-year-old son in New York by kicking the boy in the stomach. He served about 18 months in prison for that crime. He also served about two years in prison after a 1991 conviction for molesting two children in Virginia Beach.

    Because those crimes were so old, that part of his criminal history did

    not count toward calculating his penalty under federal sentencing guidelines. Otherwise he could have faced considerably more prison time, a prosecutor said.

    His attorney, Andrew Protogyrou, tried to shift some blame to the check cashing service he used. The company made it easy to cash the forged checks by not requiring proof of identity, counsel called such action “willful blindness.”

    The Virginia Beach man set up an account with the check cashing service using only the business license from the doctor’s practice, which the woman involved had taken, Protogyrou said.

    The man then cashed forged insurance checks that the woman had taken from the practice. The woman, employed as the practice’s bookkeeper, was able to cover up the losses to the office.

    The Virginia Beach man, also a Vietnam veteran who was wounded in the war, told the federal judge he tried not to get involved but said he was forced by the woman involved in order to keep their relationship intact.

    Read the full article here.

    All case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case. Prior case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.

  10. As Judges See It: Top Mistakes Attorneys Make in Civil Litigation

    September 10, 2013 by Christy

    Attorney Robert B. Rigney is the tadalafil goedkoop program moderator for this CLE (worth 6.0 hours of credit, including 1.0 hour of ethics) on October 4, 2013 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

    For information or to register see the NBI CLE Registration

    Form, online, or call 1-800-930-6182.