Watchdog Archive

Virginia Beach aided developer in Cavalier bid process

VIRGINIA BEACH The email exchanges and financial discussions had kept some city staffers busy for days. A court-ordered auction for the historic Cavalier Hotel was 48 hours away, leaving little time to let developer Bruce Thompson know how much public money he could plan on receiving before bidding on the decaying Oceanfront landmark.

The Virginian-Pilot sues state for law enforcement officer information

NORFOLK The Virginian-Pilot is suing the state to get basic information about Virginia's law enforcement officers. The Pilot and reporter Gary Harki filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday in Norfolk Circuit Court against the Department of Criminal Justice Services to get access to a database that tracks training for the state's law enforcement officers.

Will Sessoms Council vote investigation


Special prosecutor talks about Virginia Beach mayor's charges
Lynchburg Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Doucette, who was assigned to the case last year, said that there were no requirements for the mayor to step down from office if he's convicted of five misdemeanors.
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Virginia Beach Mayor Sessoms charged with conflict of interest

FBI, state police conducting joint interviews in inquiries of Uhrin, Sessoms

VIRGINIA BEACH The FBI and Virginia State Police are conducting joint interviews in their separate criminal investigations of votes taken by Councilman John Uhrin and Mayor Will Sessoms, and the city has turned over more than 5,000 pages of documents subpoenaed by a federal grand jury.

Norfolk getting less for more with conference center

NORFOLK The sizes of the planned city-funded conference center and parking garage have shrunk considerably since the City Council first voted to move forward with The Main hotel project in April 2013. Yet the total cost for the conference center has grown significantly.

Sea Dragon Down | Sea Dragon helicopter crash investigation


U.S. Navy buys old helicopters from Japan for spare parts
The U.S. plans to harvest the decommissioned military aircraft for parts to maintain its aging fleet of MH-53E Sea Dragons. It appears the service bought the equipment at a steep discount.
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Most of Navy's Sea Dragon fleet remains on the ground

Internal Navy email: Safety of helicopters in question

More than a year after a Navy helicopter crashed off the coast of Virginia, killing three crew members, high-ranking military officials are worried not enough has been done to prevent a similar tragedy, according to confidential documents obtained by The Virginian-Pilot.

FBI opens investigation of Uhrin's vote on Cavalier

VIRGINIA BEACH The FBI has opened a criminal investigation into Councilman John Uhrin's vote that approved millions in taxpayer incentives to renovate The Cavalier Hotel and allow a luxury housing community on the site weeks before his wife was hired to market the homes.

Sessoms' council votes benefited TowneBank borrowers

Mayor Will Sessoms, a president of TowneBank, has voted dozens of times with the City Council on matters directly benefiting developers who borrowed at least $140 million from the bank. The votes violate Sessoms’ promise not to let his duties to the bank conflict with his public obligations, and some may also violate state law.

Portsmouth siphons money from aging utility system

PORTSMOUTH Inside a small brick building in Suffolk, massive pumps draw as much as 21 million gallons of water each day from nearby lakes. The high-pitched whine of the machinery clashes with the roar of rushing water. This is the sound of Portsmouth's water system. It's the sound of money.

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